As Congress continues to try to make headway on its second stimulus package, Americans across the country are calling on the government to provide some sort of economic relief amidst this ongoing health crisis. In light of Congress' impasse concerning its stimulus plan, individuals from the Climbing Wall Association are calling on the government to provide relief to the many climbing gyms across the country. The organization has even started a petition on Change.org to let their voices be heard.
Rick Vance, the Vice President of the Board of Directors, and Garnet Moore, the Director of Operations, of the Climbing Wall Association penned a lengthy message to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to ask for relief for climbing gyms. They began their message by noting that they were grateful to see that Congress extended funding through the CARES Act for the many businesses that are dealing with the struggles associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Although, they shared that the language in that legislation does not expressly call for aid to fitness and recreational facilities, including climbing gyms.
They are subsequently asking lawmakers to include funding for climbing gyms in their next economic relief package. Their statement on the petition noted that if they do not receive funding from the government, many of those businesses will likely be forced to close. "Climbing gyms and other fitness and recreational facilities all face severe layoffs and the threat of bankruptcy during this crisis," their petition read. "This has affected, and will affect, tens of thousands of American climbing gym workers. Through no fault of their own, climbing gyms are losing their ability to provide for members and employees due to lost revenue on account of massive forced closures. Climbing gyms and other such facilities rely on memberships and active visits for survival."
They are petitioning Congress to enact a number of relief measures, including enacting H.R.6268 to provide efficient and interest-free loans to small businesses, tax benefits to assist employers in providing support to their employees, and tax measures that will allow climbing businesses to make up for their losses when the industry is back in full force. As of right now, the petition has already garnered over 23,000 signatures in support. They are striving to receive 25,000 signatures so that this issue can be addressed.