Owner of a small local gymnasium shares his difficulties with COVID-19

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Brittany McLean, owner of F45 Training in Kitchener, says boutique gyms like hers face more barriers to reopening than big box gyms

Before the pandemic, F45 Training was a small gym that had just opened in Kitchener, offering high intensity 45-minute interval training classes to residents on the go.F45 Training co-owner Brittany McLean is now waiting to find out when she can reopen her business. McLean says she is concerned about how she and other small gyms will manage in the future as they are not qualified for government assistance like big box gyms.

“The only thing was that we had no employees. We usually have private contractors, and for the majority of the fitness world, they use private contractors. “Said McLean,” We also had to file taxes before a certain date to be eligible for a government grant, which we did not do either. ”

McLean says that in addition to the use of contractors and taxes, time and profits are other factors that prevent small gyms from receiving financial support during the pandemic.

According to her, companies previously had to earn between $ 40,000 and $ 1 million and have been operating for at least six months, in order to meet the COVID-19 allocation criteria.

“As a brand new company, we have not qualified for any wage subsidy or government assistance. “Said McLean” We were unable to save money for an emergency because we had just opened our doors. ”

To help pay the rent and stay relevant to their customers, McLean says they’ve started offering online training classes and are now hosting boot camp classes in their parking lot.

It’s a similar story for many small and new businesses, including other boutique gyms like F45 Training.

“We know of many companies themselves that had just opened and that just weren’t qualified either,” said McLean. “This is a bit of a gap which is unfortunate as many companies may not be able to open their doors after that. ”

She goes on to say that facilities like hers should be in a separate category from big box gymnasiums, particularly with regard to the opening guidelines for phase three, since small facilities have better control over safety measures. put in place.

“They are really small classes. We all know our members, so we can know if they have traveled, or if someone they know has traveled or is sick. “Said McLean,” We are also able to keep an eye on the cleaning processes going on in the studio, to make sure everyone is safe. ”

As the province moves toward lifting the restrictions, McLean hopes residents will consider joining his gymnasium and other small facilities like his to help support them, as will some who have supported other local businesses during the pandemic.

“We have some of the best absolute members, participate in our online training sessions and join our bootcamps now, the best support you can give to the companies you love is brand awareness. Said McLean. “It’s the biggest way people can support small businesses is to share what they offer. ”

To learn more about F45 training, see their Instagram page and Facebook page.

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