“To be on this boat with 3 or 4 businesses and the rest of the economy is open, feels like a slap in the face,” Sarah Fechter said.
Fechter is a professional fitness trainer with 15 years of experience.
She opened her own studio in Saginaw Township in 2012 and is one of the nearly 200 gym owners across Michigan filing a lawsuit against the state for blocking gyms from re-opening.
“It seems as if we’ve been pushed to the wayside and not trusted to be able to provide a safe place or safety precautions,” she said. “I do believe that we are responsible enough, we’re ready to get back to work and do it the right way.”
Fechter says she was ready to re-open her gym today under strict COVID-19 safety guidelines, and says she’d understand being shut down if there was evidence proving gyms can’t re-open safely.
“Can we see the data? Can we be given something? Where’s this data? We’re not given any explanation. Nor is there any talk about any type of compensation or how long we could be closed,” she said.
Fechter’s business has been shut down under Governor Whitmer’s executive order for 3 and a half months and she says she doesn’t know how long her business can survive.
“By May 14, we were at a six-figure loss already at my business,” she said. “We’re losing about 15-grand every two weeks.”
Fechter says some gyms across the state have decided to open anyways and face whatever punishment could be coming, because financially they’re at a point where the choice is: re-open or close for good.