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  • WBDC Announces $40K in Grants Awarded to New London Businesses

    NEW LONDON, Conn. — Four New London businesses have been selected by the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC)  to receive a combined $40,000 in the latest round of awards for the New London/WBDC Small Business Grant Program. The program, launched in October through a partnership between the City of New London and WBDC, makes available grants of up to $10,000 to eligible New London-based businesses.

    To date, the New London grant program has supported ten local businesses with grants totaling $92,325. Representatives from WBDC visited each of the most recent grant recipients last week to distribute the grants. (Photos)

    Applications are currently being accepted in English and Spanish for the next round of grants. Applications are reviewed on a monthly, rolling basis with the next deadline being March 15, 2023. Information sessions are held in English and Spanish each month to provide details on eligibility and the application process, and WBDC Business Advisors are available to assist applicants throughout the process.

    Blissworks Yoga & Healing Arts | Trish Reyburn | $10,000
    228 State St., New London

    Blissworks Yoga & Healing Arts, a wellness center in downtown New London, plans to use its grant funding to rebrand the business as a holistic health center — conveying the message to current and potential customers that Blissworks is more than “just a yoga studio.”

    Additionally, some of the grant funding will be used to purchase new equipment, including a hydraulic yoga table and a massage chair — helping to expand the center’s offerings.

    Fit F.A.M. | Samer Delgado | $10,000
    310 State St., New London

    Fit F.A.M., a physical fitness center in downtown New London, plans to use its grant funding to add a recovery room featuring two new services — cold water immersion therapy and heat shock therapy. The new recovery room will include a 6-person hot stone sauna and a commercial cold plunge heating and cooling ice bath. The addition of the recovery room, separate from the rest of the gym facility, allows Fit F.A.M. to create new revenue streams by offering packages or single sessions.

    Currently, there are no other facilities in the New London area that offer cold water immersion therapy — which is often effective for chronic diseases and overall well-being. Heat shock therapy creates heat shock proteins that make healthy cells stronger — protecting cells from stress and injury and providing resistance to certain diseases.

    Sellfish | Tatyana Trebukhova | $10,000
    260 Pequot Ave., New London

    In support of their current and future business growth, Sellfish, a restaurant on the New London waterfront, plans to invest in new, larger capacity, and more efficient kitchen equipment. The new equipment will help optimize the quality of their menu items and significantly expedite preparation time for many of their dishes — helping Sellfish to provide an improved dining experience and attract new customers. Additionally, the new energy-efficient equipment will substantially reduce operating costs and will allow them to add new scratch-made desserts to the menu.

    The Telegraph | Rich Martin | $10,000
    19 Golden St, New London

    The Telegraph, a record store in downtown New London, plans to use the grant money to purchase equipment for direct-to-garment (DTG) printing and processing — allowing the production of their own t-shirts and other branded clothing items. This equipment will allow The Telegraph to expand its product line to broader music-related offerings as well as unique New London branded items — creating a unique opportunity as no other retail space in the city offers similar products.

     The DTG equipment will also play a role in The Telegraph’s mission to support local musicians and artists to develop their products and brands. They currently work with regional artists to facilitate the making of records, CDs, and cassettes and can now offer t-shirts for these musicians and artists in the community— this is not only a new revenue stream for The Telegraph but it also expands opportunities for New London’s rich arts community.

    About the New London/WBDC Small Business Grant Program

    The New London/WBDC Small Business Grant Program is substantially similar to WBDC’s Equity Match Grant program, which to date, has awarded 167 grants totaling more than $1.5 million to women-owned businesses across the state.

    Businesses do not need to be women-owned to be eligible for the New London/WBDC Small Business Grant Program. More details on the program and the application can be found here.

    To be eligible for the grant program, businesses must:

    • Be located in New London, Connecticut, and have a zoning permit from the City of New London

    • Be registered in the state of Connecticut

    • Have been in business for at least two years (as of the date the application is submitted)

    • Have a record of annual sales/revenue in the last twelve months greater than $25,000 and less than $2,000,000

    • Be in good standing with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services

    • Have an established business checking account

    • Utilize a formal, digital bookkeeping/financial system (e.g., QuickBooks, Sage, FreshBooks, Wave Accounting)

    • Be a for-profit business

    • Be owned by a person at least 18 years old.

    About the Women’s Business Development Council 

    The Women’s Business Development Council’s (WBDC) mission is to support economic prosperity for women and strengthen communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across Connecticut. WBDC educates, motivates, and empowers women to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency. Since 1997, WBDC has educated and trained more than 17,000 clients in all of Connecticut’s 169 towns—helping women to launch, sustain and scale over 12,750 businesses, create and maintain over 27,500 jobs in Connecticut, and access more than $63 million in capital. Visit ctwbdc.org for more information.