BRIDGEPORT — At a recent visit to the city’s only Pilates studio, state Rep. Steve Stafstrom, D-Bridgeport, learned how to do double leg presses.

“Steve did some exercises on what’s called the Wunda chair,” said Laura Pennock, owner of the Black Rock Pilates Studio, which is based in Stafstrom’s district.

The special chair was purchased courtesy of the equity match grant from the Women’s Business Development Council.

But the grant didn’t just allow Pennock to buy exercise equipment — it saved her business as well, she said.

Stafstrom and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz stopped by the studio this week as part of a tour. Bysiewicz is traveling to 129 businesses across the state who have received the equity match grant from the women’s council.

Bysiewicz said the program was launched in 2020 after she, along with Council CEO Fran Pastore, noticed many PPP loans were going to white, male-owned businesses at the height of the pandemic.


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