Bridgeport pilates studio gets $10K from women’s business group

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BRIDGEPORT — At a recent take a look at to the city’s only Pilates studio, condition Rep. Steve Stafstrom, D-Bridgeport, acquired how to do double leg presses.

“Steve did some workout routines on what is named the Wunda chair,” explained Laura Pennock, proprietor of the Black Rock Pilates Studio, which is primarily based in Stafstrom’s district.

The specific chair was ordered courtesy of the equity match grant from the Women’s Small business Improvement Council.

But the grant did not just permit Pennock to acquire physical exercise tools — it saved her small business as properly, she said.


Stafstrom and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz stopped by the studio this 7 days as component of a tour. Bysiewicz is touring to 129 businesses across the state who have gained the equity match grant from the women’s council.

Bysiewicz reported the program was released in 2020 after she, together with Council CEO Fran Pastore, noticed several PPP loans were going to white, male-owned firms at the top of the pandemic.

“The Fairness Match Grant method originated from the generous contributions of a number of private funders and collaboration with our condition Division of Financial and Group Development,” Bysiewicz explained.

According to Bysiewicz, Pennock’s organization gained $10,000 from the grant this year. Her company was capable to force as a result of the pandemic soon after Pennock transitioned to on line lessons. Although restrictions are now extended long gone, Pennock has retained the on the web classes, saying they continue on to be well-liked.

But the street to recovery was arduous.

“It was definitely a hit… and as we absolutely opened, we worked with about a quarter of what we experienced been. But now we’re up and functioning as we experienced in the earlier prior to, if not even improved. So we survived,” Pennock stated.

Pennock’s enterprise was one of the 31 modest organizations acquiring an equity match grant from the council this spring. The grant is geared to ladies-owned businesses in the point out.

Whilst Bysiewicz did not do any physical exercises, Pennock stated acquiring the lieutenant governor there showed smaller corporations, specifically all those owned by girls, have sources out there to them.

As a final result of the grant, Pennock has been equipped to obtain far more chairs, allowing her to introduce a lot more intense classes.

“With this grant, I’m going to be in a position to have 5 chairs that are all alike so that we can get started carrying out a additional athletic coaching style of course,” she mentioned.

Organizations wishing to implement for a grant need to have to meet numerous disorders. The dollars are not able to be employed for ongoing expenses these as inventory, paying out down earlier money owed or actual physical advancements to the place. The business enterprise has to be 51 p.c or far more female-owned, be situated in the state, have been open up for at least two decades prior to July 3, 2022 and have at minimum $25,000 in yearly earnings around the past year.

The dollars from the grant is courtesy of Webster Bank, which Pastore claimed is vital to continued funding.

“WBDC is so grateful for the continued support of Webster Financial institution, the founding funder of our Equity Match Grant Application. Generous contributions from organizations like Webster will permit WBDC to empower females business owners through the state and to make good strides in the direction of women’s economic equity,” Pastore mentioned.

Pennock said the grant will guide to extra funds down the line and superior pay for her personnel.

“We’re hoping to incorporate a few to 5 lessons a 7 days, which produces excellent earnings for our organization and gives operate to our instructors,” Pennock stated.

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