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Daily Journal
     April 24, 2020      #26-115 KDJ

Bradley fitness center closes due to losses from

By Misty Knisely

BRADLEY — When Le Body Shop in Bradley closed its doors on March 16 as a coronavirus precaution, owner Leesa Frye thought it was just for two weeks. But now, a month later and no end to the “stay-at-home” mandate in sight, Frye has come to the decision that the fitness center’s doors won’t be reopened.

“We had a lot of people who put their memberships on hold or quit because they themselves were self-employed,” she said. “Sixty percent of our members quit within a week-and-half period when [Gov. J.B. Pritzer] went to the 30-day shutdown.

“It was awful. It was honestly awful,” she said. “It was gut-wrenching. My husband and I … we tried our best.”

As membership dues stopped coming in and money reserves begin to run dry, Frye was holding out hope for a forgivable loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. However, that diminished when she learned they had the possibility of only receiving a meager $1,000 and the chances were slim at that.

The business has one full-time employee.

While there are other loan programs available, she said she didn’t feel it prudent to invest any additional money into the business which is already carrying a loan.

“We had already put a lot of money into the business, and when we weren’t going to get any type of help from the government, we had to be realistic,” she said.

She said her lack of confidence in society returning to status quo after the coronavirus pandemic subsides further secured her decision to close.

“After the pandemic, I don’t think it’s going to be any better,” she said. “There’s going to be such tight restrictions in place. It’s a shame. We’re not going to be the only business to close because of this pandemic.”

The Fryes opened Le Body Shop at the location in January 2018 as a fitness studio for women. It opening was a “dream and passion.”

“It was just a great place for women,” she said. “We always provided a positive upbeat environment for women to feel not judged. We really prided ourselves on that.”

Frye is in the process of selling the fitness center’s equipment. For now, she will take some time off from her work as a personal trainer.

“This was very upsetting to me,” she said. “I will do something at some point, just not right now.”

Bradley yoga studio announces closure

It’s been a rough week for fitness centers in Bradley, as Barefoot Yoga has also announced its closure.

The news came through a post on the studio’s Facebook page from owners Kristine Stukenborg and Nicole Gavin.

“It is with great sadness and regret that we are sharing this update with you today,” read Wednesday’s post. “After recent events, much consideration and many tears, we are unfortunately closing Barefoot Yoga Loft permanently.”

The post netted an outpouring of support from its members and stories of how the studio improved their lives. Among them was Steve Szobar.

“The energy was incredible there,” his comment read. “Thank you Nicole and Kristine for creating a beautiful place. You two really shined a light on my life.”

Stukenborg and Gavin said the studio will continue its virtual classes through May 2 and have plans to add some additional classes beyond that. The studio’s Facebook group will remain open indefinitely.

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