Biz grants ‘will help what happened, not what will happen’


Businesses worry as Extreme Risk takes effect again

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (KOIN) — Kalani and Heidi Pa said they’ve been rolling with the punches during this year of the pandemic. The owners of Anytime Fitness in Lake Oswego think with safety precautions in place that gyms are part of the solution to keeping people well and healthy.

But now that 15 Oregon counties are back in Extreme Risk from COVID, they’re worried this closure is going to be longer than anyone really expects.

They told KOIN 6 News that at this point in the pandemic, people need to find it within themselves to take the right steps of distancing, masking, hand washing and prevention so businesses can come back.

“I’m not Dr. Fauci myself, but you know, obviously he’s saying that the more people get vaccinated, then we can start doing herd immunity and kind of get back to more normal life,” Kalani siad. “But I think that’s really the only way. I mean, you know, the saying is we can all get through this together. And I think that’s really something.”

While gyms are at a lower capacity during this closure, Kalani encourages people to get in physical activity when and where they can for their own wellbeing. A 20-minute walk outdoors is better than sitting on the couch any day, he said.

Kalani and Heidi have continued one-on-one personal training and started teaching online workout classes, too. But during the pandemic some people have opted out of gym memberships.

That’s why they say the small business relief grants are necessary.

“You know, once we lose somebody it’s really hard to get them to come back. You know, our, our business is really based on a dues base for people to come to the gym. And so once they feel like they don’t want to come to the gym, we have to now find new people,” Kalani said.

“It’s not the old people coming back, because if they don’t feel comfortable, they’re not going to come back. So we need to find different ways of, you know, with the business to help people get into the gym. But as far as, you know, grants and things like that, that’s going to help tremendously. But it will help for what happened, not what will happen.”

They said they actually feel worse for the big box gyms because they have so much space and overhead. It really doesn’t make sense to operate for a handful or a couple dozen people.

Overall, the morale of most gym owners is low. They’re disappointed hospitalizations are up and they try to remain positive that people can come together to do the things necessary to keep the coronavirus from getting out of control.

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