GoodLife Fitness receives $310M federal loan to help battle unprecedented shutdowns
GOODLIFE FITNESS CENTRES Inc., the chain of more than 450 gyms across the country, is tapping up to $310 million in federal cash as it tries to stay afloat.
The gym chain, headquartered in London, is accessing the money through the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF), meant to provide bridge financing to the largest companies in Canada who are struggling under the weight of public health restrictions.
“We’ve faced many ups and downs over the years, but none as challenging as the last year has presented to us,” David Patchell-Evans, founder of GoodLife, told BNN Bloomberg. “Our revenue dropped to near-zero at the height of lockdowns and we only had a total of 57 days throughout the pandemic where all of our club regions were open.”
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Few Canadian companies have taken LEEFF financing over the course of the pandemic — GoodLife is only the fourth. It could throw the fitness chain’s future into question, as the program includes steep interest rates and has been described as a program of “last resort” for companies who can’t access financing elsewhere.
So far, GoodLife has only taken just over $85 million worth of the approved financing. In the immediate term, however, the loan is intended to help preserve at least some of the 10,200 jobs that GoodLife provides across the country. Kieran Delamont