Like other small businesses, new Durham Pilates studio navigates challenges of inflation

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, December 12, 2023
New Durham Pilates studio navigates challenges of inflation
Durham city officials say the Bull City has two programs that can help businesses offset costs, manage inflation.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Monica Pierce likes to spend her Tuesday afternoons at Prevailing Pilates getting a workout and toning her body. With rising costs all around her, she's not willing to sacrifice what brings her peace. Instead, she's cut back in other places.

"As far as going out to eat and some things around the house, I've cut back," said Pierce. "I like Pilates because even though it's low impact, it does hit all your body parts."

The sacrifice is something that Sabrina Seymore, owner of Prevailing Pilates understands. She has only been in business for three months. According to Durham's Black Chamber of Commerce, Seymore opened the Bull City's first Black-owned Pilates studio.

"I wanted to be able to create a space that was safe for all bodies," she said.

New numbers show prices are up compared to a year ago because of inflation. Seymore said it has made it tough to get her business off the ground.

"I saw a huge increase in cost of services and goods. From a startup standpoint, it was difficult. I had to do a lot of pivoting around and a lot of things on my own to make the doors open," she said.

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Andrew Pettigrew runs Durham's Office of Economic and Workforce Development. He told ABC11 that the Bull City has two programs that can help offset costs incurred with inflation.

"Inflation is something every business large and small has to navigate," said Pettigrew.

The micro-business program targets businesses with five or fewer employees. A business can become eligible for this grant of up to $20,000 once completing a four-week boot camp.

The Small Business Loan Fund targets businesses with 50 or fewer employees. It's a 3% loan that allows one to borrow between $3,000 and $35,000. A business cannot bring in more than $5 million in sales in a year to qualify.

"A three percent loan of up to $35,000 is anti-inflation. I think most small business loans now are above eight or almost 10 percent," Pettigrew said.

In the meantime, Seymore is enjoying her journey here at Prevailing Pilates. She continues to meet customers such as Piercem where they are financially while helping them keep fit.

"I'm a Pilates girl," said Pierce.