Gyms and local businesses weigh the risk of coronavirus exposure against the threat of bankruptcy

  coronavirus blogAs death tolls from coronavirus continue to mount, it seems like some people are finally beginning to take the pandemic seriously. Other Americans are protesting quarantine measures, demanding their constitutional right to haircuts. On April 16, 2020, President Donald Trump unveiled guidelines for businesses to reopen. The first phase, which could begin as early as May 1, 2020, allows for gyms and other venues to reopen if they follow strict sanitation and social distancing guidelines.

     Trump’s guidelines are merely that- guidelines. The states can choose to reopen under their own plans. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has to make the call on whether gyms and fitness studios (among other businesses) can reopen at a limited capacity. On April 20, 2020, the Governor’s office announced that it will follow Trump’s guidelines’ practices, but not at the same time frame. Governor Ducey must also decide whether to extend the stay-at-home order in place or let it expire. The governor’s office is hearing input from local business owners to decide whether or not to start reopening.\
Phoenix Mayor Doesn’t Agree

     While the news is plastered with images of protesters demanding to return to normalcy, this sentiment isn’t universally held. Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has stated that she doesn’t believe the state will be ready to reopen by May 1st. President Trump spoke with fitness powerhouses Equinox and SoulCycle when strategizing gym protocols, but those companies charge exorbitant membership fees and aren’t widespread in Arizona. Even if gyms have the option to reopen, some may choose not to if the liabilities of operating outweigh the possible benefits.

     Equipment maintenance expenses may be lower for gyms during a soft reopening. However, gyms and fitness studios likely won’t save much on payroll due to stringent sanitation standards and the inevitable confusion that clients returning to their workouts will have. These businesses will likely have to lower the amount of clients they can accommodate at one time, or struggle with clients remaining too fearful to return to their workouts. Business owners must project the possible income they’ll earn during a soft reopening and weigh it against the cost of keeping the lights on. There is also the risk of coronavirus infection and it being spread to employees and family  members.
Some Arizona Gyms May Never Recover from COVID-19

     Some gyms that remain closed for the pandemic may never reopen. Business owners that are struggling may want to begin educating themselves on the bankruptcy process and the chapters of bankruptcy available to them. Chapter 11 is most utilized by larger businesses that want to keep operating and try to become profitable. If the business owner has personal assets on the line, they may want to consider a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they qualify. While they will have to close the business and surrender any tools of the trade, most of their unsecured debts will be discharged.

     Regardless of if businesses want to reopen, Arizona has not yet met the guidelines to move on to that stage. Business owners still have time to decide whether they will reopen under the guidelines, wait for the pandemic to pass, or close entirely. If you are a business owner considering bankruptcy, you don’t’ have to wait for the pandemic to be over to seek legal help. Our free telephonic consultations give you the opportunity to discuss your situation with an experienced bankruptcy professional- call today!

Let My Arizona Lawyers Help You with your COVID 19 Program

If you are realizing that you might have a problem with your finances after this national crisis. Know that there are options. Talk to our Arizona bankruptcy attorneys today. The consultation is free. Call (480) 637-3202. Find out how Chandler bankruptcy lawyer could help you during this national pandemic.  We have COVID 19 program ideas for you and your loved ones.

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