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Axios' Kendall Baker and Long Beach City Mayor Robert Garcia (R). Photo: Axios

Long Beach, California has created a $5 million fund in order to dole out thousands of dollars in grants to gyms and other personal care businesses that are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Robert Garcia said at an Axios virtual event on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "It's critical that we support them. We don't want to lose this critical piece of our economy," Garcia said, adding that many gyms in the area are small businesses that have "been hardly hit by this pandemic."

What they're saying: "We know that for most of them, they had serious closures that occurred over the summer. Right now in Long Beach and in California, many remain closed and some are able to operate outside so that the state does allow outdoor training, of course [with] safety protocols in place and distancing," he said.

  • "So this is an industry that's been hit very, very hard and in a place like Long Beach or Los Angeles or other places like San Francisco and others, you also have a diversity of folks that are running these operations."
  • The fund will likely grow, Garcia said, and the city plans to provide grants from $25k to $40k "directly to these gyms so they can bridge those months they've been closed on the rent" or have money to reopen.

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

Help wanted: Rescue NYC

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than 30 candidates — including boldface names like Andrew Yang — are either running or considering a run for mayor of New York, a job that will involve saving a critically wounded city.

Why it matters: Not only will the next leader help determine if Gotham retains its status as the financial, shopping, dining and glamor capital of the world, but the decisions that mayor makes could guide other leaders as they chart courses of recovery.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.