Lobbying from FIC trade association pays off
Fitness facilities are now included in the B.C. Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant Program, thanks in great part to the efforts of Fitness Industry Council of Canada’s B.C. Coalition at a recent meeting of stakeholders and provincial government officials. Hundreds of British Columbia fitness businesses now join the hospitality and accommodation industries in being eligible for these provincial government grants that provide $2,000 to $20,000.
“We’re now part of a much larger lobbying effort and at the table with the hospitality and tourism sectors,” says Carl Ulmer, co-chair of FIC’s B.C. Provincial Coalition. “I think our industry is finally being taken seriously.”
The grants were to be available only to fitness facilities that closed in March 2021 as a result of that month’s B.C. Circuit Breaker (scheduled to end on May 25, 2021). But the B.C. Coalition’s advocacy efforts helped to revise the eligibility requirements to include fitness facilities that closed or partially closed as far back as November 2020.
“We really appreciate our provincial government’s quick response to our ask and believe that it demonstrates their understanding of the fitness industry’s impact on the mental and physical health of our communities,” says Ulmer. “We’ve been decimated by the pandemic closures and restrictions. We know that once we emerge from this pandemicwe’ll be called upon to help support the citizens of our province, and we look forward to the challenge.”
More promising news: The FIC B.C. Coalition has been invited to represent the B.C. fitness industry at an industry engagement table chaired by Premier John Horgan and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Other FIC Provincial Coalitions should continue to communicate with their governments and public health departments, says Sara Hodson, co-chair of FIC’s B.C. Provincial Coalition. “We hope that this success of ours demonstrates that persistence and relationship building can create positive outcomes.”
If you are the owner of a British Columbia fitness business, visit this page//link below// to determine if you are eligible for the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant program.
For more information about Fitness Industry Council of Canada and to support your provincial coalition, visit www.ficdn.ca.