The circuit breaker has been a trying time for many business owners.
Other than aesthetic clinics, businesses classified as “non-essential” have also been hit hard by the significant financial losses.
Appeal For Sports Facilities To Be Opened
The financial losses due to the closure of sports facilities have led sports and fitness businesses to come together to appeal for the venues to be opened from 2 June onwards as Singapore starts its first phase of the re-opening.
A dialogue with Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu was held on 19 May.
But disappointment came when national sports agency Sport Singapore (SportSG) announced yesterday that sports facilities such as gyms and fitness studios would remain closed during Phase 1.
Phase 1 will last at least four weeks after the circuit breaker.
Despite the bad news, most understood the Government’s decision to keep sports facilities closed.
A survey presented to Ms Fu during the dialogue showed that out of the 333 business owners, managers and investors in the private sports and fitness industry that were surveyed, 75% of them have experienced an 80% to 100% loss in revenue in April and May.
Dialogue participants have cited that China, South Korea and Hong Kong as examples of countries that allowed gyms, studios and sports facilities to reopen after their lockdowns.
Chairman of the board and director of True Group, Sean Tan, said dialogue attendees badly hit by the measures can expect that “this will continue for a longer time”.
Tan said that while they realise that the Government faces challenges in giving projections for the future, it is hoped that they would be kept in the know and that their voices are heard.
Loss In Revenue
For the past two months, Zoi Yoga founder Roxanne Gan has had zero revenue. She was hoping to reopen her yoga studio at Joo Chiat soon. She still has to fork out a hefty $19,000 a month in rent and utility bills, even after memberships for her 50 customers have been suspended since last month.
Private sports academy owners such as former national swimmer Ang Peng Siong who runs APS Swim School has also been losing monthly revenue of between $40,000 and $60,000 despite rental waivers and help from the Jobs Support Scheme.
Director of FC Barcelona Soccer Academy Singapore (yes, bet you didn’t know this exists), Steven Chua said that while the government support has helped, “staff salaries have been affected and we are digging into our reserves”.
The academy has 20 part-time coaches and five full-time staff under them.
Classes Moved Online
Even though many have moved classes online, they said that it barely makes up for the loss in revenue, with close to 85% saying it makes up less than 10 per cent of total revenue.
Fitness operators will be allowed to return to their premises to record content for online classes, subject to approval by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The question is, of course, this: who would pay for online content when you can get it free from YouTube?
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