Anytime Fitness Parent Company Rolls Out Grant Program for Front-line Workers
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Anytime Fitness Parent Company Rolls Out Grant Program for Front-line Workers

The company is offering one-time $500 grants to help employees stay afloat amid pandemic-related losses.

Woodbury-based Self Esteem Brands—owner of Anytime Fitness, Basecamp Fitness, and other fitness brands—late last week announced that it’s offering one-time $500 grants to its front-line employees.

In total, the company will provide $1 million in grants. The news comes as Congress continues to battle over the next round of federal coronavirus stimulus checks. The aim of the grants, says Self Esteem Brands co-founder and CEO Chuck Runyon, is to help employees stay afloat during the “gap period.”

“We saw what was coming,” Runyon says. “We knew added unemployment benefits were going to run out at the end of July, and we didn’t know for certain if they would be renewed.”

The $1 million came from Runyon and his co-founding partner Dave Mortensen, along with $2,000 in personal donations from corporate employees and a donation from private investment group Roark Capital Group.

Roark also helped Self Esteem Brands lock down a partnership with nonprofit America’s Charities to help administer the funds. Eligible employees include personal trainers, franchise employees, and workers at corporate studios and clubs. Workers that have been furloughed or laid off are also eligible for the grants.

“Now’s the time for companies to step up, to lead, to help communities in need,” Runyon says. “We hope it inspires businesses to do a bit more.

Runyon notes that Self Esteem Brands has been working to offset costs for its franchisees, as well. For instance, the company has “greatly reduced royalties” to help out franchise owners. “We modified our royalties to mirror what’s going on in our market,” he says.

In the early stages of the pandemic, Runyon appeared on TCB’s By All Means podcast to talk about changes to the business due to Covid-19.