Governor Andrew Cuomo July 29, 2020
Governor of New York State
Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis continues to greatly impact all New Yorkers and businesses across many sectors. The top concern is always the health and wellbeing of all residents of this state.
In recent weeks I have had a significant uptick in outreach from local gym and fitness center owners, employees and clients. They have reached out with grave concerns over the lack of clear guidance or even a potential runway to reopen.
The concerns they raise are not just for the economic viability of their businesses which are true homegrown gym and fitness venues, not big box chain gyms. The concerns are far deeper and speak to the very nature of health and wellbeing that we are all quite focused on right now.
These local gyms and fitness venues serve as a place for New Yorkers to focus on their physical, mental and emotional health needs. Many serve local residents who are on strict regimens to ensure physical health to prevent or relieve pain or tackle some other physical ailment.
Many of these venues serve as an outlet for mental health and emotional health stimulation. People who battle PTSD is one example that has been raised with me in the last several days. One fitness center specifically highlighted how they have veteran members who follow specific workout regimens as a healthy outlet instead of the use of prescription drugs or other homebrew solutions. These local venues have the ability to social distance, schedule around COVID-19 restrictions and disinfect and sanitize using the highest possible standards.
I believe the long term overall health value of authorizing the reopening of these local gym and fitness centers with some modified restrictions will go a long way in keeping New Yorkers healthy. I urge you to take this into your utmost timely consideration.
Colin J. Schmitt
Member of Assembly
Brett Somerville, Co-Owner, Granite Barbell Gym stated, “I’d like to thank Assemblyman Schmitt for visiting my small gym in Hamptonburgh to see that we can open and operate successfully following safety protocols and social distancing. Gyms serve multiple purposes and are beneficial to not only an individuals physical health but their emotional and mental health as well. Here at Granite Barbell Gym – we are a family and we are there for each other. Not being able to see my clients for over 4 months has been tough for both me and them. We appreciate Assemblyman Schmitt’s attention to this issue and we are hopeful that Governor Cuomo will lift some restrictions to allow us to operate safely and start helping people again!”
Anthony Esposito, Owner of Anthony Esposito Fitness stated, “Local fitness centers like mine have the ability to provide essential services to New Yorkers focused on their mental health and physical wellbeing during this ongoing crisis. I do appreciate the Assemblyman taking the time to safely visit gyms in his district to learn how we can adapt and operate in a safe environment for our clients and trainers alike. It is critically important to lift some restrictions on the smaller gyms and fitness studios that have the ability to socially distance and follow every standard safety protocol put forth, especially in a private 1 on 1 training situation. Thank you to the Assemblyman for continuing to champion this issue for all gym and studio owners and users at this time!”-