CARES Act Recap – Financial Relief For Your Gym or Fitness Studio

Dan Uyemura
April 1, 2020
CARES Act Recap – Financial Relief For Your Gym or Fitness Studio

SBA Loan Program

Small Business Gains Access To Very Favorable Loans

One of the core pieces of the CARES Act is the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act.

This section of the bill is focused on supporting businesses in their efforts to keep their employees on payroll via SBA backed loans with very favorable terms for small businesses that qualify.

Loan proceeds can be used for operational costs like payroll, rent, benefits, insurance premiums, utilities, etc.

Loans will be made with very favorable terms, including repayment terms, forgiveable loan amounts, little or no personal guarentees, as well as waiving of SBA Loan Fees.  

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  • All owner operated boutique fitness gyms and studios should qualify.
  • Interest rate capped at 4%.
  • No personal guarentees are permitted to be required.
  • No prepayment penalty or origination fees.
  • No non-payment recourse unless funds are used for unauthorized purposes. (see below)
  • Maximum loan amount capped at 2.5x your last 12 months payroll costs.
  • Funds will be used to retain workers, maintain payroll or make mortgage and utility payments.
  • Loan forgiveness and payment deferral programs (see below)
  • Prioritizes small businesses, especially entities run by disadvantaged individuals or in underserved markets.

Authorized Use Of Funds

Loan May Be Used For Essential Business Functions

The funds from an SBA Loan provided in the CARES Act may be used for certain approved costs.

Spending the loan proceeds outside of approved expenses could result in loss of key benefits of this loan, including the “no-recourse on non-payment” clause.

Approved Spend

Businesses may, in addition to uses already allowed under the SBA’s Business Loan Program, use the loans for:

  • Payroll costs:
  • Includes: compensation to employees, such as salary, wage, commissions, cash, etc.; paid leave; severance payments; payment for group health benefits, including insurance premiums; retirement benefits; state and local payroll taxes; and compensation to sole proprietors or independent contractors (including commission-based compensation) up to $100,000 in 1 year, prorated for the covered period;
  • Excludes: individual employee compensation above $100,000 per year, prorated for the covered period; certain federal taxes; compensation to employees whose principal place of residence is outside of the US; and sick and family leave wages for which credit is allowed under the Families First Act;
  • Group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums;
  • Salaries, commissions, or similar compensations;
  • Payments of interest on mortgage obligations;
  • Rent/lease agreement payments;
  • Utilities; and
  • Interest on any other debt obligations incurred before the covered period.
Loan Forgiveness and Payment Deferrment

Payment Deferrment

All loans issued under the CARES Act will be automatically qualified for complete payment deferral for six month to one year.

Lenders are required to provide payment deferral for this period.

Loan Forgiveness

All loans issued under the CARES Act will also qualify for a loan forgiveness provision.

Indebtedness is forgiven (and excluded from gross income) in an amount (not to exceed the principal amount of the loan) equal to the following costs incurred and payments made during the covered period:

  • Payroll costs;
  • Interest payments on mortgages;
  • Rent; and
  • Utility payments.

Forgiveness amounts will be reduced for any employee cuts or payroll reductions.

The purpose of this bill is to keep employers paying their employees – so if you take this loan, DO THAT.

To note, there is relief from these forgiveness reduction penalties for employers who rehire employees or make up for wage reductions by June 30, 2020.

Employees who make over $100,000 per year do not qualify for this calculation.

What Would A Loan Look Like For A Typical Gym?

Assuming the following facts:

  • Monthly payroll of $7,500 (including owner salary)
  • Rent of $3,000/month
  • Utilites of $500/month

You could qualify for up to $18,750 in SBA Loans.

Your total rent, payroll and utilities would total $22,000 in the first 8 weeks – resulting in a 100% loan forgiveness.

Unemployment Insurance

Expansion of Unemployment Benefits for Your Coaches and Staff

Previously, gig workers were not covered by unemployment insurance.  The CARES Act expands unemployment insurance protections to gig workers.

This means some of your staff or coaches who might not have qualified for unemployment insurance before, now do.

The expansion also increases the amount of money receieved per week while on unemployment insurance, increases the amount of time someone can be on unemployment insurance benefits, and removes the one week waiting period to receive benefits.

Advance Refundable Personal Tax Credit

Immediate Cash To All Individual Tax Payers

The CARES Act provides for recovery rebates of up to $1,200 ($2,400 for joint filers) for US taxpayers. The mechanism for paying the rebates is an advance refundable tax credit. The rebates are subject to certain special rules:

  • Amounts are increased by $500 for each child; and
  • Amounts are phased out for taxpayers making $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers, and as added by the CARES Act, $112,500 for heads of household).

The rebates are available even if the taxpayer has no income, and no action is generally required to claim the rebates. The IRS will use the taxpayer’s 2019 tax return, if filed, or in the alternative, their 2018 return. The CARES Act exempts the rebates from offset to pay debts owed to other federal agencies, state income tax obligations, and unemployment compensation debts (but not for past-due support). It also requires Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to coordinate with the Social Security Administration and other agencies to conduct a public awareness campaign regarding the availability of the rebates.

Employee Retention Credits

The CARES Act provides eligible employers – including tax-exempt organizations but not governmental entities – a refundable credit against payroll tax (Social Security and Railroad Retirement) liability equal to 50% of the first $10,000 in wages per employee (including value of health plan benefits).

Certain tests are required to be passed to qualify for this credit.  Please download our CARES Act Playbook to see if you qualify.

Business Tax Adjustments

There are several business tax adjustments that can materially impact your business tax liability (for the better).

Please talk to an accountant to see how these might apply for you.  

Download our CARES Act Playbook for more information on these adjustments.

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Dan Uyemura

Dan Uyemura built his first gym in 2008. Since then he's built and sold a couple of gyms. In 2011 Dan decided to help gym owners run more stable, profitable businesses.

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