“The fitness industry will collapse without a federal subsidy similar to what is being offered to the tourism and hospitality sectors,” says Sara Hodson, President of Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC). “Most small businesses in our industry have only a few weeks of operating capital remaining – not months, weeks. We need urgent action from the federal government.”
FIC is requesting the federal government put the fitness industry on an even playing field with the tourism and hospitality industry, and properly support the industry. Hodson met with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland earlier this year to discuss ways to help the fitness industry rebound from the pandemic. On behalf of FIC, Hodson requested economic stimulus and proposed a tax deduction for gym memberships. Research done by FIC shows that inactive Canadians would join a gym if there were a financial incentive in place.
Exercise is essential for physical and mental health. Making exercise options accessible is crucial to the overall Health of Canadians. More than 150 minutes of weekly exercise can reduce chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension and is an effective treatment for anxiety, stress, and depression. Making exercise options accessible via fitness facilities is crucial to the overall health of Canadians.
“We ask that the government consider the recovery of the fitness industry as necessary as the tourism and hospitality industries, not simply for the sake of our businesses, but for the health and wellbeing of Canadians,” Hodson added, “Canadians need the fitness industry more than ever before.”