‘Absolutely gut-wrenching’: Gym owners devastated
WITH bills to pay and no income to pay them, Skybound Gymnastics owner Wei Jun Lee is devastated he's had to close down his Burleigh Heads gym.
The owner-operator, who moved from NSW last year, said he had no other income stream following PM Scott Morrison's announcement that all gyms must close in order to contain the coronavirus.
"Shutting down for us is devastating. Financially it means uncertainty. I will not be able to sustain this without external financial support or rent relief," he said.
"It is also unknown as to the length of time this closure policy will be in place, this creates even more difficulty to plan moving forwards.
"If we do manage to survive and reopen I do not know if the community will be in a position to come back to us having undergone their own financial struggles."
Mr Lee, who is a NZ citizen, said the gym was to celebrate its first birthday next month and now he'll be seeking employment elsewhere, because he's not entitled to any benefits as a New Zealander.
"After working so hard to get to this point the thought of being unable to reopen is absolutely gut-wrenching," he said.
F45 Pacific Pines co-owner Nik Hayes, whose wife is due to give birth to their third child this week, is gutted gyms have been shut down.
"With no income, the future is uncertain and at this stage we have no idea how long we'll be shut for. Although it's devastating for us personally, it's also a big loss for our members, most of whom go to the gym for their mental health, which is something we all need to look
after now more than ever," he said.
Mr Hayes, also a Kiwi, said he had only been on the Gold Coast for one year so didn't have enough superannuation to draw from and he was also not entitled to any Centrelink payments.
Snap Fitness Helensvale manager Brayden Webb said hundreds of members were locked out of the gym but agreed it was the only way to slow things down and get things back to normal.
Parkwood's Jummps owner Melissa Bauman said "it's with an extremely heavy heart" her business would remain closed with "no end date set". However, the gym would continue to provide one-on-one lessons spread over the day with no public access.