11/27/2022

Tempe gym owners considered defying stay-at-home order to keep business afloat

As business owners patiently wait for Arizona’s stay at home order to end, one business in Tempe considered defying it. 

“We didn’t want to go to jail. We don’t have any money to get slapped with a fine,” says Hitsquad Ninja Gym Co-owner Lee Cates. 

The gym’s been paying $7,000 in overhead a month since its closure. The owners say they have no income and haven’t received any government assistance or bill forgiveness.

Co-owner Brian Rambo says, “We let our clients know, hey, if you can still pay and you’re financially set. A lot of them did, but I can’t ask them to do it again.” 

Cates says they’re hurting and the future’s uncertain. 

“We put a certain amount of money aside for emergencies but emergencies aren’t supposed to last for three months. If we don’t open by the 15th, I don’t know.”

For now, all the business owners can do is wait and hope customers are as ready as they are to reopen. Cates says, “The light’s there. We just need to see it together.”

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