Yoga Health Center in San Carlos is turning to the public for funding help to ensure the business can bounce back as it faces increasing financial pressure from pandemic-related losses.
“I feel like we are going to make it, somehow, someway,” said Regina French, yoga teacher and co-owner with her husband, Bob. “We have put ourselves out there so much anyway, and so giving up is not in my DNA.”
Yoga Health Center is operating at a significant loss after closures and revenue losses during the pandemic, with the business looking to raise $225,000 by June 30. French has operated Yoga Health Center for 25 years with her husband. She was heavily involved in other sports in her 20s and started yoga on a cross country retreat after seeing how flexible a yoga teacher was on the trip. After time as a massage therapist, she decided to open a yoga studio following participating in hot yoga, a form practiced in a warm and humid studio. Opened in 1996 at a small 1,150-square-foot location on El Camino Real, it moved to its 677 Laurel St. San Carlos location in 2015 and provided yoga and fitness options in its 6,000-square-foot studio.
Yoga Health Center COO Ken Nangle said the $225,000 its seeking is based on assessing future needs for rent, payments and other operating costs like utilities.
“That’s the amount of money we felt we needed to operate and recover,” Nangle said.
The business was humming along before COVID-19, with around 80 classes a week and revenue coming in. However, the pandemic led to a 75% decrease in revenue immediately and only 45 classes a week. Revenue hasn’t yet reached 50% of pre-COVID revenue. The high rent costs of $25,000 a month are increasing losses, despite government grants and loans. Yoga Health Center also lost around 500 members and is down to 350. Nangle said the losses over 20 months are in the hundreds of thousands. Additional costs for staff, insurance and utilities are also a problem, with staffing losses occurring. After recent negotiations with their landlord, the business agreed to a new 10-year lease at a reduced rate, giving them a shot at a future and promoting the plea for funds.
“We ran up a huge amount of debt just trying to stay open,” Nangle said. “We really need a lot of money to stay in business.”
While the business plans to remain open beyond June 30, it hopes the public requests will help galvanize the community and give them the breathing room they need to recover.
“We don’t have any intention of closing, so if we don’t raise it or it’s not enough, then we have to get more creative,” Nangle said.
Around two-thirds of members are from San Carlos, Nangle hopes the public will help keep them open for San Carlos residents and the local area.
“It frightens me to think what it would be like without the Yoga Health Center. People love this place,” Nangle …….