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Indoor gym capacity expanded, but owners say it’s not enough to stay in business

Gyms and fitness centers across New Jersey are now allowed to operate at 50% indoor capacity under a new order by Gov. Phil Murphy.

News 12 Staff

Mar 19, 2021, 10:06 PM

Updated 1,189 days ago

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Gyms and fitness centers across New Jersey are now allowed to operate at 50% indoor capacity under a new order by Gov. Phil Murphy.
But many in the fitness industry say that the higher capacity isn’t enough to keep them in business.
The COVID-19 pandemic marked a major blow to gyms that were closed for a time, and then could only operate with limited capacity.
“We are really excited we are at 50% capacity now,” says F45 Hoboken North owner Alvaro Perez.
Perez opened the fitness center just 2.5 months before the pandemic shutdown. He says that local gyms need more to stay afloat. And he says that even without capacity limits, memberships remain low with many gymgoers hesitant to return.
“Unfortunately, not everyone feels comfortable working out indoors. We follow the CDC rules, I think we even go farther,” Perez says.
Some gyms were able to get federal Payment Protection Program loans and small grants. But the owners say that it is not enough to cover the monthslong shutdown. They say that this is especially true with very little headed their way from the recent COVID-19 relief package from the Biden administration.
Industry groups are now pushing for the GYMS Act, which would provide $30 billion in federal recovery funds for the fitness industry. Local owners could use the money to pay employees, rent, utilities and other expenses.


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