Owner Stephanie Kosnick, above, said InFerno NY is more than just a gym and it’s like a wellness center. With the incoming grant money, she hopes to buy more machinery to continue giving her clients more resources and opportunities to reinvent themselves. Diego Cagara / Spotlight News
BETHLEHEM — Stephanie Kosnick, owner of InFerno NY, a Delmar-based wellness center and gym, is set to receive a $5,000 grant after the Town Board unanimously approved the funding recommendation at its Jan. 8 meeting.
This is part of the town’s Microenterprise Grant Program which originally began in 2014.
It aims to award funding from the state Office of Homes and Community Renewal to eligible small businesses emerging or looking to be located in Bethlehem.
According to the town’s website, grant awards can range between $5,000 and $35,000 and could be used to help a business owner buy inventory, machinery, furniture, equipment and more.
“I’m very excited because we’re going to use it to purchase a few machines that should last a lifetime and really help a lot of people who come here with joint pain,” Kosnick said. “It will help bring more opportunities and options for my current clients and hopefully bring in some new clients.”
Such machines, she added, will include recumbent exercise bikes and arc trainers.
InFerno NY, run by Kosnick and trainer Michael Parker, opened in November 2018 and has diverse options for its clients, including kettlebell classes, cardio machines, mobility/stability classes, endurance classes, weight training, strength classes and more.
Kosnick said she likes how the space emanates a small studio feel that offers options generally seen in bigger gyms.
Kosnick said she first heard of the Microenterprise Grant program in late 2018, shortly after she opened InFerno NY.
She became more interested at the recommendation of her friend, Linda Kindlon, who co-owns Bake For You in Slingerlands and also received a grant from the program.
Kosnick initially applied in January 2019 but was denied; she reapplied later in the fall.
After printing the application from the town’s website, Kosnick said she visited the Small Business Development Center in Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany where she received entrepreneurial advice and learned more about how to write a business plan and handle finances.
Despite the recent good news, Bethlehem’s Microenterprise Grant program requires Kosnick to first complete an eight-week entrepreneurial class at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, which started on Saturday, Jan. 18, before actually receiving the $5,000 grant.
Kosnick, having lived in Delmar since 2003, expressed gratitude to her supportive neighbors, friends and clients during the application process.
“In fact, a lot of my clients are business professionals and have been super helpful and have asked me if I need help with anything like writing the business plan,” she said.
Kosnick’s passion for fitness has long remained undisturbed as she recalled training people to use fitness equipment at her first job 24 years ago when she was just 16.
She has also regularly played sports, been a personal trainer and worked at numerous gyms.
These experiences, she explained, helped her learn what a gym should have equipment- and ambience-wise.
“Everybody’s body is different and fitness is definitely not a one-size-fits-all thing,” she added.
“What I absolutely love about my job is that I have such a wide variety of clientele walking through my door and so from assessing and communicating with them what their goals are, we have a plan of attack on how to reach those goals. It’s a lot of fun, I love it.”
Kosnick also encouraged other local small businesses who qualify for the Microenterprise Grant program to apply.
“[The town] wants to see you succeed which is nice and they’re very supportive of the community and trying to help the community in the best way possible to grow together,” she concluded. “They want the best for their residents which is important so I think if anybody is looking to start a business, the town is very approachable and you can ask them questions, tell them your ideas and get advice.”
To learn more about the Microenterprise Grant program, visit www.townofbethlehem.org/709/Microenterprise-Grant-Program. For more information on InFerno NY, visit infernony.com.