Owner claims bias as martial arts academy told to remain closed

Owner claims bias as martial arts academy told to remain closed

In response to an email received earlier today from the Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce regarding the denial of the Village of Key Biscayne to allow the reopening of our Academy of Martial Arts on Monday, June 1: We find these actions to be discriminatory, targeted and unjust.

We are not a fitness studio or gymnasium. We do not use fitness equipment such as treadmills, cycles, ellipticals or weight machines, etc. We have recently been certified in order to operate under new CDC guidelines, and have professionally cleaned, sanitized and prepared our Academy and its procedures to conform to new guidelines -- including no physical contact -- in an effort to keep our students and community safe.

The original mandated closure was for a two-week period. We are currently in our 10th week and “the curve” has been flattened! These weeks have passed at great expense as we have continued to pay rent, staff and expenses in the interest of doing our part to protect our local economy.

Local pilates studios are currently open. Personal trainers, soccer and a myriad of other activities are currently active on the Key. The parks, beaches, churches, pools and hotels will reopen June 1, joining restaurants, liquor stores, barber shops, hair and nail salons, training facilities, retail stores, offices, banks, markets, etc.

It appears that we, and specifically our industry on the key, are being singled out. We have already lost some of our small businesses here in Key Biscayne, and four other businesses are on the verge of failing in our mall alone. These are all local families, tax payers, friends and neighbors.

We would like to know what will be done in order to protect the rights of our resident business owners and when.

Sensei Robert Duzoglou

Founder / Academy of Martial Arts

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