Business directory

New Jersey Gym Owner Takes Nationwide Coronavirus Shutdown Revolt with Business Directory

New Jersey gymnasium owners who made headlines for defying closure orders are revolting nationally by creating a nationwide directory of businesses that stay open.

“We’re going to reach that critical point where there are too many open businesses to punish,” Ian Smith, owner of Atilis Gym, said on FOX Business’s “Varney and Co”. “And it will all fall apart like a house of cards.”

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Smith described the website as a resource for business owners and Americans who want to support these businesses.

“Think of it as a Yelp directory for businesses that defy all COVID restrictions, Smith told host Stuart Varney. “Whether it’s full shutdowns, arbitrary time limits on when they can and can’t serve alcohol or when they can’t serve food. “

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The owners of Atilis Gym have had a long and ongoing public battle with their local government in Bellmawr, New Jersey, over coronavirus restrictions. The company has been hit by closures, arrests and daily fines, which exceed “well over $ 1 million”, according to Smith, who added he had “no intention” to repay penalties. State gymnasiums have been allowed to open with limited capacity since September 1.

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New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said the reason for limiting gyms was to stop the spread of the virus, but Smith argues there is “no science” to back that claim.

“As of yesterday, we just hit the 81,000 visit mark with zero facility-related COVID cases,” he said. “They really tried to destroy us, but they couldn’t. And we will continue to stay open no matter what.

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Smith said the online open business directory will have a “gradual roll-out” next week to begin posting information on the site. It will serve as a resource center for companies wanting to know how to deal with policing and new health procedures.

Smith added that the site will also provide fundraising and legal support.


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