FOX 47 News is here to help you get through these difficult times. The Rebound Detroit is an initiative we're launching to help you through the journey back.
We're bringing you the experts, resources and guidance you need. And that includes stories of people and businesses bouncing back.
Applied Fitness Solutions was one of the businesses shut down by COVID-19.
For AFS, a boutique fitness club with locations in Ann Arbor, Plymouth and Rochester whose business is based on personal encouragement and camaraderie, the news was devastating.
"Absolutely everyone on the AFS team, myself, my leadership team included, was laid off," said AFS co-founder and CEO Mike Stack.
All of the trainers, dietitians, and administrative staff all out of work. But in a surprise move, the full-time staff volunteered to work for free and help AFS move their in-person service to an online community to support their clients stuck inside.
Nate Langley, AFS director of marketing, says the move from in person to on line was a quick one.
“I think within a day, we had Chris and Kemper (two personal trainers) standing in Ann Arbor in front of a light kit, ready to hit the red button to go live," Langley said.
Two trainers working out in front of a camera hoping to find an audience. And they did. First five, then 10.
Langley remembers watching the online presence becoming a community, saying to coworkers, “People are coming on. Hey guys, 20, 30, 40… I think it got up to like 100."
That response gave them hope. And that online community has now passed 3,000 and is still growing.
Log on to the AFS Facebook Virtual Hub and you’ll find workouts like Toddler Tuesday, live bodyweight mat Pilates, and guided meditation.
And when that blossoming community heard AFS, like so many businesses, was in trouble, they gave back, too. A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $100,000 in the weeks since the shutdown. That money will be used to keep the business afloat and pay the staff who started this cascade of giving.
And as for the clients and community members who are giving money to support AFS?
“I don't think words would do it justice," Langley said. “It would have to be a hug.”
So here’s the Rebound Rundown
- If there is a small business that you like, support it.
- Make online purchases or gift certificates
- Tell your friends why you like the business
- The businesses still have expenses even though they can’t open
As for the virtual hub AFS created, it’s here to stay for members when the lockdown ends and life returns to normal.
If you want to check out what AFS is doing, they are holding a sweat crawl event this weekend. Check it out here .
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
Find out how you can help businesses and restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
Also, get information about Rebound Mid Michigan, with stories, information and more about coming back from COVID-19
Join the Rebound Mid Michigan Facebook Group.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.