EDGE NEED Grant Provides Lifeline for Gym That, After Reopening, Struggles With the Effects of COVID-19

Ambushun Fitness Interior Pic 2

Memphis, Tenn. (August 7, 2020) – One question that is repeatedly asked these days – how safe is it to go to the gym? And as COVID-19 continues to spread, gym owners are finding it hard to stay afloat. 

“COVID-19 forced my business to close and since then, business has changed dramatically,” said Ambishun Fitness owner, Ricky Dortch.

In February, Dortch moved Ambishun from Binghampton to his current location on Covington Way. COVID-19 hit immediately after that and he was unable to open. Since March, Dortch has had to let his employee go and sales and revenue were nonexistent for the more than two months he was forced to close as part of the Safer at Home order. The gym has since re-opened, but only at 50% capacity.

Dortch is going virtual to try to reach more people, creating a series of online paid workouts called Sweat, which are accessible via a ZOOM platform or app. He also offers workout sessions via Facebook and Instagram. 

EDGE awarded Ambishun Fitness a $5,000 NEED Grant today to provide some relief. It is one of several fitness centers that have received assistance to date. I Am FitnessDelta Groove Yoga and Sherika Fitness also received grants earlier this summer. Ambishun was one of nine businesses to receive grants today. Others awarded were:

Dortch says the grant will go along way in helping him get back on track. 

“The EDGE funds will help me satisfy my financial obligations and implement new business plans to catch up on lost business and help the community work towards a healthier lifestyle.”

To date, EDGE has awarded $631,700 to 112 businesses throughout Memphis's most vulnerable neighborhoods; 92 of those (82%) are minority- and women-owned businesses. 

The Neighborhood Emergency Economic Development (NEED) Grant was created to provide relief to small businesses, located in Memphis’ most vulnerable neighborhoods that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible businesses can apply and find more information at NEEDGrant.org.

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