Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) appreciates the Prime Minister’s announcement on April 24, 2020, regarding the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program. The federal government has reached an agreement with all provinces to lower rents for small and medium-sized businesses with rent less than $50,000/month, by 75% for the months of April, May, and June. For the fitness industry, this covers single clubs and studios but does not address the need for a solution for regional and national organizations who have rent more than $50,000 per month.
"Fitness Industry Council of Canada has been working to push this legislation through by engaging in conversations with the government at various levels,” says Scott Wildeman, FIC President. “We appreciate this significant step in helping to support the thousands of fitness establishments that have been hit so hard during this crisis.”
As of 2019, there are nearly 6,800 clubs across the country, with more than 6 million members and this represents revenue of nearly $3 billion USD. All fitness facilities in Canada closed as of mid-March, with the majority having canceled their monthly fees immediately.
"Many organizations have been offering free online classes and other solutions in order to keep members healthy through this pandemic,” continues Wildeman. "Physical and mental health go hand in hand, and we are proud of how our industry has stepped up in the face of such adversity to take care of so many Canadians. We look forward to being able to open our doors again to welcome everyone back in person, but until then, we will continue to best support Canadians with their physical and mental well-being.
"The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program will work with landlords via the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), who will then pass along the rent reductions to tenants. Landlords across the country are urged to support this initiative and provide flexibility to tenants who are facing these challenging times. Together, through this program, landlords and tenants will be able to assist thousands of fitness business establishments across Canada.
The province of British Columbia has also agreed to 25% abatement to property taxes, which is a significant expense. FIC would like to see all provinces do at least the same, if not more for retailers.ABOUT FIC
Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) represents the voice of fitness facility operators across Canada. Representing over 6,000 facilities with over 6 million members nationwide, FIC pursues a legislative agenda in the hope of bettering the fitness industry for both consumers and operators. FIC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and Provincial Council members who are all industry leaders with representation from big box gyms, group ex/studios/boutiques, private training, education, and technology. FIC fairly represents the voice of the Canadian Fitness Industry while partnering with government, media, and other organizational bodies in pursuit of a more active and healthy Canada. For more information, go to https://ficdn.ca/
To speak with Scott Wildeman, or for further information, please contact:
Scott Wildeman, President
Fitness Industry Council of Canada