MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As we come to the end of the year, many businesses are finding they can’t afford to stay open and making tough decisions to close their doors
A year ago, General Manager of Metro Fitness Leigh Anne Richards would never have imagined her workplace of 22 years would close.
“This time last year, it was thriving,” said Richards.
After the pandemic forced Metro Fitness to close its doors for months this year, too many of its members just didn’t come back when they reopened.
“We had anywhere between 800 and 1,000 at one time, and so it is dropped in a year’s time to 500,” Richards said.
Richards explained most canceled their membership for the same reason.
“COVID COVID COVID... That was the majority of what people canceled was COVID,” said Richards. “When you lose half your income in a facility like this. I mean, this facility is huge. You think about the utilities and the overhead of this facility. And so it was just not sustainable any longer.”
According to a new survey from the National Federation of Independent Business, one in four small business owners will be forced to close their doors if economic conditions don’t improve soon. NFIB’s executive director of research says the next few months could be the most difficult time for businesses since the spring’s initial shutdown. All the more reason these locally owned businesses need local support.
“Especially right now, home owned businesses support support support,” Richards pleaded. “I was here from the ground before we ever broke ground and the planning stages. So it truly is it’s like a death.”