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Local Gym Owner Says Coronavirus And Shutdown Orders Have His Business On The Ropes

Ben Heal: "It's unbelievable to me how small businesses have been affected by this. We're the ones who have been protecting clients and keeping our businesses clean the entire time."
Jerry Kenney
/
WYSO
Ben Heal: "It's unbelievable to me how small businesses have been affected by this. We're the ones who have been protecting clients and keeping our businesses clean the entire time."

Ohio gyms, fitness and athletic centers have been open for a little over a month now, after being ordered closed by state officials concerned about COVID-19.

When state officials allowed gyms and fitness facilities to reopen on May 26, they issued several requirements on sanitization and social distancing.

Ben Heal, owner of Frequency Fitness in Kettering, says those in his industry have always operated under those guidelines.

“We keep things clean and we can provide you with a safe environment to work out," he says.

Heal says he started off hopeful as clients returned after reopening. But now that the number of COVID cases is increasing, his clients are cancelling their appointments again.

“A lot of folks haven't returned because they are either furloughed, laid off, have lost their position entirely, or some of my elderly clients, or compromised clients just don't want to come back out and deal with being around other people because they're extremely afraid that they're going to obtain this virus.” 

The owner/trainer says he’s angry that businesses like his were forced to close,  while “big box” stores and liquor stores were allowed to stay open.

Heal says his industry has suffered as a result. He urges people who are venturing back out to support local businesses in their community.