Small Business Fund Nominee Stories & Voting

FOREST CITY GYMNASTICS IS OUR

SMALL BUSINESS FUND WINNER FOR MAY 

with 1.7K votes! 

MAY FUND TOTAL: $4,356!

FCGC LONDON INC.

London, ON

FB: @forestcitygymnastics

*Answers below are taken verbatim from entry.

BUSINESS BACKGROUND

FCGC London (Forest City Gymnastics) was a non profit organization from 1976 to 2017.  We spent many years in a 10,000 sq ft facility running three programs and trying to make it work.  In 2017 it was purchased by two owners in order to help better move the club, get financially situated and give the athletes a better program and better equipment.  We are now in a 23, 000 sq foot facility.  In the three years we have fundraised and focussed on buying updated equipment, adding foam pits, updated washrooms.  We are family run, we love our club and our coaches and we do this for the athletes and for the sport.  Cindy Smith-Rex - one owner has had her daughter in gymnastics since 2005 and she is now coaching in the competitive program but has retired from the sport.  Andy Gantlett, the other owner has 10 plus years there with his daughter training and she is in our provincial program and she is coaching in our recreational program.  Our hope is to grow the club, grow the sport and to remain in the east end of London.  We have many sports teams, Montessori school, LDCSB schools, and multiple PD day care agencies through our club and we work with Jump Start as well.  We currently run a recreational program and a Men's and Women's Competitive program as well as prior to our closure we were setting up for a Ninja program.  We are also very proud of our camps.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR STRATEGY THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC?

We are currently offering zoom for our athletes to try to keep in shape.  We have invested in a Gym online program and we are working with our governing body, CFIB, 3rd Level Consulting, Ceridian and all of our fellow Gymnastics Ontario clubs to work on moving forward through this time.  We have asked for a reduction in our rent with the new government updates and we have kept our staff involved and active and because of our bond being like family they are all helping out of the goodness of their hearts and out of the love they have for our athletes.  .

HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC & SHUTDOWN AFFECTED YOUR BUSINESS?

This has hurt us tremendously.  Outside of normal revenue that we lost, we lost our two biggest fundraisers of the year and one other minor fundraiser.  We were scheduled to host the Emerald Cup Invitational 9 days after we were shut down and we had invested in that and we were unable to run it.  We also lost the ability to host Championships for southwestern Ontario at the Agriplex which is a massive financial loss for us.  Our atheltes lost the remainder of their competitive season.  No one got to put their hard work on the table for Championships.  Our recreational winter participants did not get to finish the winter program.  We have lost hundreds of thousands in Revenue if we are including the loss of our meets at a time we had some construction that we are required to do inside the gym.  We will inevitably lose athletes as I am sure some families will have concerns and on top of all of this we are investing in some sanitation devices to be able to sanitize all of our equipment between classes.  We are praying and hoping daily that our FCGC family will be back in the club soon with a lot of changes and a lot of hard work we hope to be able to remain open.  They are estimating losing up to 50 percent of clubs.

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