The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges for the worldwide economy with its most profound effects on small businesses. Locally, dozens of businesses have closed their doors due to the difficulties associated with operating during this period.
On Dec. 4, local gym Atlas Fitness (920 11th St. SE) will close its doors for the final time. The closure comes less than a week after DC Mayor Muriel Bowser rolled back phase two restrictions that previously allowed group exercise classes to take place.
Owner Tim Bruffy issued a statement on Facebook Nov. 27 expressing gratitude for his time at Atlas and with this Capitol Hill community.
“I’m grateful for you, the opportunity to serve this amazing community, to have been a leader and a champion for fitness and small business,” the statement reads. “I am grateful to have had an impact and contributed to so many different neighborhood efforts and events. I’m grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to meet, know and work with so many amazing people both clients and team members of Atlas alike.”
Buffy emphasized that while the gym is closing permanently that everyone involved “will always hold a special place in [his] heart.” He also encouraged Hill residents to support small businesses in the community however possible during this difficult time.
“Restrictions certainly make it tough to do but continue to do what is safe for you. As businesses alter their operations to meet mandatory requirements, try your best to participate,” Bruffy said. “Don’t allow our focus on protecting the community come at the expense of losing small business. We are in this together!”
The gym will host a liquidation sale via Facebook Marketplace in the coming weeks. Bruffy encouraged residents to stop by after the closure on Dec. 5th and 6th to shop the remaining equipment and say goodbye. Interested individuals can email [email protected] to reserve a time on either of these dates.
Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with the Hill Rag. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at [email protected]