Workout Anytime was featured in an article in the News Herald in an article titled “Marine opening gym, but many struggle to find work.” The article details the high unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001. The article highlights Chris Gately and how he has found success by opening Workout Anytime, a business that was the perfect fit for him because of his military background. The article includes information about Workout Anytime and ways the federal government is helping veterans obtain business loans.
Marine opening gym, but many struggle to find work
A local veteran is finding his way in this difficult economic climate by opening his own business.
Chris Gately, 32, who served in the U.S. Marines, will open the first Workout Anytime at 12121 Back Beach Road later this month.
Gately is the first military veteran with the franchise to open a location, and he’s a veteran bucking the trend of unemployment that is hampering veterans across the country.
“To my brothers and sisters in arms out there I would tell them this is a good business to get into,” said Gately, who originally is from northeast Oregon.
The unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001 — a group referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans — was 12.1 percent in 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported earlier this spring. That group includes Gately.
It is worse for those under the age of 25.
Young male veterans between the ages of 18 to 24 who served during Gulf War era II had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent in 2011, higher than that of young male nonveterans at 17.6 percent, according to BLS.
Gately said he searched for the kind of business that was right for him. He also said the best way to find what kind of business you like is to understand what it is you like to do. He said he had been working out for years and that was what he decided to concentrate on.
“Stick to what you know,” Gately said.
Workout Anytime is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week fitness concept that costs $15 a month, with no contract. Right now is a time when priorities are being shifted in the community and luxury items, such as traditional gym memberships, are becoming unaffordable, he said. “I am a certified trainer,” Gately said.
Gately said he likes the no-pressure atmosphere of Workout Anytime.
“We don’t do the massages and the things the other gyms do,” Gately said. “We concentrate on the 90 percent that want to work on cardio and weight training.”
Gately said Workout Anytime helped him get a loan for his franchise. But, for those would-be business owners who may have trouble obtaining financing, the federal government also is helping veterans obtain business loans.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) joined with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) to launch a training program called “Operation Boots to Business” for transitioning service members and veterans to help them become entrepreneurs and create jobs. The program was announced last month.
“Through this partnership, we stand ready with support, entrepreneurial training and resources that are critical tools to help them start businesses, drive economic growth and create jobs for themselves and their communities,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said during the program’s announcement in July.
Veterans make up a large number of successful small business owners. Nine percent of small businesses are veteran-owned, according to the SBA.
SBA partners will coordinate training and services at military bases around the country, delivering a face-to-face introductory entrepreneurship course. The program will expand across the nation during fiscal year 2013 with the goal of providing entrepreneurial training and awareness to transitioning service members from all branches of the military.