Last year, FHLBank Indianapolis awarded an Elevate small business grant to Detroit Cycling Studio in Detroit, Michigan through member financial institution First Independence Bank. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Detroit Cycling Studio was able to pivot to a virtual online platform with the help of the Elevate Grant. The small business purchased 50 custom branded indoor cycling bikes for their clients to rent and use in their own homes and saw an increase in memberships.
One of Detroit Cycling Studio's custom branded indoor cycling bikes purchased with the Elevate grant.
In addition to purchasing bikes, Detroit Cycling Studio used the Elevate grant to upgrade their sound system and microphones for live streaming fitness classes. The business also filmed a commercial to run for three months on network television and ran a mailing campaign in the community.
To deliver and repair the new bikes for clients to rent, Detroit Cycling Studio also purchased a minivan with the Elevate grant. The rental and delivery service was an unexpected benefit to the small business because without it, they would have closed owner Tyronza Nesbitt said.
“This service allowed our studio to expand what we offer too. We now offer a body sculpting class, a dance fitness class, and a hula hoop fitness class and it’s all online. We changed our software provider. Now, we are able to have an On-Demand library for clients to access recorded fitness classes at any time of the day at home.”
Detroit Cycling Studio's van purchased with the Elevate grant to deliver and repair bikes.
With the pandemic closing gyms and fitness centers, Detroit Cycling Studio was able to provide an outlet for people through a difficult time.
“Not only did it help our clients' physical bodies, but it also helped maintain their state of mind. It was a way of building community, and it gave people a chance to talk to people outside of their homes,” Nesbitt said. “It was especially beneficial for our senior citizens who lived alone. After every session we would stay online for about 30 minutes and discuss what was going on in our community and the world around us. Although our seniors were alone, they had an online community around them that they could be a part of, even if it was just virtual.”
A Detroit Cycling Studio client with a rental bike for virtual classes.
In addition to supporting their local community, the Elevate grant allowed Detroit Cycling Studio to expand their services to clients outside of Detroit. “It was amazing to receive a phone call from someone from Chicago who saw our commercial while in Detroit for business. They live in Chicago and they have their own bike, and they still can ride with us. It’s amazing,” says Nesbitt, “This was a totally unexpected benefit of receiving the Elevate Grant.”
Interested in applying for an Elevate grant? Information about our 2022 Elevate small business grant will be made available in Spring 2022. You can learn more about the program on our Elevate Small Business Grant page.
You can learn more about Detroit Cycling Studio at detroitcyclingstudio.com and watch their commercial here: Detroit Cycling Studio (Official Commercial).