COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — A group of small gym owners are now reaching out to lawmakers and the Ohio Economic Recovery Task Force in hopes of making gyms an essential business. The group is proposing that gyms and small studios should be allowed to open back up as long as they follow strict guidelines.
Since Gov. Mike DeWine's stay at home order, only essential businesses have been allowed to operate. The order doesn't include gyms, small studio or fitness spaces. Since the order, some fitness owners have been struggling.
"Most of us don't have deep pockets so surviving this little bit of time is critical,” said 614 Fitness Owner Jim Hofstetter.
Since March 16, gyms including 614 Fitness have either closed or have been operating virtually, which has had its own obstacles.
"The technology was constantly changing, zoom was overwhelmed,” said Hofstetter.
Now, Hofstetter along with other small fitness business are doing everything they can to make gyms and small studios an essential business.
"I think a gym is an essential business, if you look around at people's mental health and their physical health and building to fight disease, it has to do with health and fitness so I think it's an essential business,” said Hofstetter.
The group is now reaching out to the state legislature and the Ohio Economic Recovery Task Force, proposing how gyms could operate safely and effectively under the pandemic reality.
Below includes some of the proposed guidelines:
The group says, together they know what the best practices are and hope to hear a response soon.
"As fitness professionals, we thought it might be better if we provided the expertise versus the expertise being provided to us,” said Hofstetter.
ABC6/FOX28 reached out to the governor's office inquiring about the gym owners’ proposal. As of Monday a spokesperson says the proposal will most likely be reviewed and heavily considered. But as for any decisions, none will be made until the governor's daily briefing.