New York Boutique Fitness Studios Re-Open Phase 2
URGENT! Signatures are needed to support the boutique fitness industry during the combined health and financial crisis caused by COVID-19.
In New York, current government directives have forced fitness centers to temporarily close their doors to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In an abundance of caution to “flatten the curve,” we believe this is a smart decision. However, we also believe that boutique fitness studios and micro-gyms have inappropriately been classified within a larger fitness center category directed at facilities with 250 people or more and alongside other industries such as cinemas (average size 200-300 client capacity). Unfortunately, this improper classification will needlessly hamper boutique fitness studios and micro-gyms when the time is ripe to smartly open non-essential businesses. By being classified with large fitness centers, boutique fitness studios and micro-gyms will be forced to needlessly remain closed when other small businesses with small footprints can open under smart operating conditions that sufficiently mitigate the risk of spreading the virus.
Boutique fitness studios and micro-gyms are facilities designed to serve small numbers of clients at any one time, whereas fitness centers and gyms are commonly known as facilities designed to serve hundreds of clients at a time. Especially when understanding that industries serving similar numbers of clients, such as salons and spas, will be allowed to open with social distancing and proper hygiene, we feel that we should be included in the same re-opening phase as them. With boutique fitness studios/micro-gyms, the risk of spreading COVID-19 is far less than the typical large gym/fitness center.
For every week a typical boutique fitness studio or micro-gym is closed, it forgoes $5,000-$20,000 in revenue. The significant financial impact of this crisis expands not only to owners, but also to the millions of Independent Contractors and Employees in our industry.
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED PROFESSIONALS WITHIN THE BOUTIQUE FITNESS STUDIO COMMUNITY, RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THE FOLLOWING FROM OFFICIALS AT ALL LEVELS OF OUR GOVERNMENT:
- Exclude boutique fitness studios and micro-gyms from the definition of “fitness centers,” or "gyms" and create independent directives applicable for the reduced footprint of the unique business models used by boutique fitness studios and micro-gyms
- At the early stages of the eventual timeframe when government officials begin to loosen restrictions to allow non-essential businesses to reopen, allow boutique fitness studios and micro-gyms to operate under strict guidelines, such as:
- Allowing an operation of 1 client to 1 trainer. This is no different than a single salon operator and client, and it is potentially even more benign in that distance can be more easily maintained by a fitness trainer.
- Allowing an operation of no more than a 10 client to 1 trainer ratio. This is no different than a small salon with 4 stylists, or a very small boutique, and potentially even more benign in that distance can be more easily maintained by a fitness trainer.
- Intensive hygiene requirements would be used including constant cleanliness and possible authorization of masks and gloves.
- High risk populations would be exceptions to this petition.