In March of 2020, we were forced to close our business for six months resulting in a total shut down of all incoming revenue and the forced furlough of our entire team. When we reopened, we were subject to the strict protocol required by state and local officials that were difficult, and at times (due to staffing restrictions and the unwillingness of some consumers) impossible to execute. As a result of the conditions surrounding our reopening, we continued to lose revenue and, due to the frustrations of attempting to enforce the unenforceable and the daily arguments and struggles associated with that, we lost valued team members.
During all of this, we were also faced with the continued looming threat of financial repercussions in the form of fines from the state if we were found to be out of compliance with the vague and ever-changing requirements of operation. This means that no matter how hard we tried to encourage everyone to keep their noses covered, it only took one complaint about one person who may have been asked multiple times who refused to cooperate to result in a $1,000 fine against the business. This threat was made clear time and again to businesses that it would be per violation. Having struggled with revenues since March of 2020, this was a risk most businesses simply could not take on.
Fast forward to December of 2021 when some lucky businesses might have been finally starting to see the light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel when we were faced with yet another impossible choice: masks or vaccine requirements. A Sophie’s choice. Choose masks and upset the vaccinated who felt they’d earned their right to workout maskless, and risk fines for those who would undoubtedly violate the masking policy again as they had before. Choose the vaccine requirement and upset those who chose not to vaccinate. In no scenario is there a choice where everyone was happy and nobody alienated. Businesses were forced to play the bad guy.
We are a locally owned business that employs your neighbors, your friends, and even your family. We’ve been here for 30 years and hope to be around for many, many more. But like many small businesses, we rely on the success of our business today in order to make it to tomorrow. We simply cannot risk fines levied against our facilities for individuals who view masks as chin slings. We cannot ask our team after such a long and trying period to continue to engage in the same arguments and fights with those who think they’re making grand points and making some sort of social stance by gaslighting our employees who are simply trying to do their jobs and protect Elevate so that it can be around for another 30 years.
And so, as the angry emails and one-star reviews flood our inboxes and threaten our business on another level, we ask that you consider that businesses are doing what they can in these difficult times and making impossible decisions in what are arguably lose/lose situations. Leave the nasty reviews if you have to, shout at us and call us names if you really need to, but remember that we’re people, trying to put food on our tables and trying to run a gym that we can all be proud of.
If you’d like to show your support to Elevate, you can leave a Google review or recommend us on Facebook. Or even better, you can refer a friend or family member to Elevate. If you refer someone who joins during the month of December we have some really cool gifts to say thank you. Remember, whether it’s Elevate, your local restaurant, or the grocery store down the street, we’re all doing our best, we’re part of your community, and a community that comes together will thrive and flourish. Let’s be that kind of community and leave the divisive nonsense at the door.
Thanks for reading.