In March 2019, with a background in fitness and martial arts and the desire to help his community develop habits of discipline, exercise and eating right, Garth Binns opened Mill Basin Fit Body Boot Camp. When COVID hit, and mandatory closures were enforced, though, Garth encountered a challenging period like so many business owners.
Unfortunately, he had to close a week before the gym’s 1-year anniversary and celebrated the feat in his living room instead. Though Mill Basin Fit Body Boot Camp turned to virtual sessions, COVID continued, and the gym was unable to reopen for more than a year.
By the time Garth was able to reopen his gym doors, he had lost a lot of members and was behind on business expenses and rent.
When Times Were Tough
Garth shares that his gym did not receive any funding from the state and was denied 2 grant requests, though he was able to qualify for a $1,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance.
Also, it wasn’t until the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that Mill Basin Fit Body Boot Camp received a PPP loan, despite having applied during the first round. The federal government loan the gym was awarded totaled $13,400. However, Garth shared that it didn’t go far when his rent was $8,000 (later increased to $9,000).
He turned to various financing providers too – banks, credit unions, online lenders – however, every time, he was denied because his income was too low or his credit score wasn’t high enough. Not surprisingly, like many business owners, Garth’s credit score had dropped significantly over the last 2 years because of COVID.