At Zen & Now, a yoga and fitness studio in East Lyme, owner Lisa Bragaw said she went from 34 instructors before the COVID-19 pandemic to about 18 now — but she’s trying to scale back and is doing more advertising than she had done before.

Zen & Now is one of many small businesses across southeastern Connecticut that have received a grant through federal U.S. bailout laws that have been passed through towns and cities.

In New London, the City Council in April approved $20,000 for interior ventilation duct replacement at the Washington Street Coffee House, $50,000 each for roof replacement at 68 State St. and 312 State St., $50,000 for HVAC and interior renovations at the Bank Street building where The Blue Duck restaurant recently opened, $50,000 for facade and roof repairs at the Hot Rod Café and more.

The City Council in May and June approved $100,000 for interior renovations to the building the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce purchased for his new home and a newly started incubator, $75,000 to support The Lighthouse Inn in its reopening after a fire and $256,000 to the Women’s Business Development Council.

Elizabeth Nocera, economic development coordinator for the city, said the WBDC will run a business grant program with applications opening in September.


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