BELLMAWR, NJ – With New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy continually moving the goalposts on the reopening of New Jersey, many business owners are growing sick and tired. Murphy has not introduced a plan to reopen the state. Instead, he introduced a marketing campaign complete with catchphrases and buzzwords. It would seem more time and effort went into the marketing strategy of Phil Murphy’s roadmap plan than into the actual plan itself.
In Bellmawr, one gym owner has had enough and says he will reopen his gym on Monday. Ian Smith, the owner of Atilis Gym says while Murphy does not have a plan to reopen the state, he and his business partner have their own plan. And they’re going to run with it.
“Governor Murphy has presented zero plan,” Smith said. “This has been a gross violation of our constitutional rights. We’ve been forced into our homes which is not healthy for our immune systems. There’s no progress moving forward.”
Smith said he has watched businesses in his community shut their doors and many lose their jobs. Smith said his company rearranged their entire gym to spread out equipment and has a plan to keep people safe.
“Everything Walmart can do, a small business can replicate those things,” Smith said.
He said is gym is a membership only facility and not open to the public and patrons will have to follow his guidelines or they will be asked to leave. While equipment has been spread out, social distancing markers have been added around the equipment to ensure members maintain safe social distancing.
His partner today said that they have faced criticism from people who disagree.
“We are truly doing this to fight for our rights. The government is failing at protecting our rights and failing us at protecting our health,” Frank Trumbetti. said. “We’re doing this as a peaceful protest to not only open our business but all business in New Jersey.”
Trumbetti’s mother is critically ill and being treated at a rehabilitation facility for an injury. She was checked for COVID-19 before entering at the hospital and contracted the virus while in the hospital. Trumbetti said opening his business is about his constitutional rights and with a gravely ill-mother, you better believe he’s taking COVID-19 seriously.
If you want to support Atilis Gym, please visit the GoFundMe page.