A PILATES instructor is hailing the success of her new business thank to the support of five local businesswomen after banding together in a bid to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

During the pandemic, many businesses were pushed to breaking point by its impact on customers as well as restrictive rules.

Many businesses were forced to close down but a group of five businesswoman have revealed they were able to keep their businesses afloat by supporting each other.

The group consists of pilates instructor Jade Gooding, photographer Sally Parkinson, gym owner Hollie Redman and partnership business Design by Sports.

Jade, from Great Maplestead, runs her own Pilates and yoga business. The mum-of-two launched her business after experimenting with keep-fit videos on YouTube to keep people healthy.

She launched her business in January after quitting her job and now has more than 120 members on her membership site, with meetings held in Pebmarsh and Great Maplestead twice a week.

Jade says her business has not just been able to survive but grew, thanks to the support of other businesswomen.

Rather than paying for each other’s services, the group simply offers support when needed.

Braintree photographer Sally Parkinson offers her services to the group.

Outfits for Jade’s classes are also sold by Design by Sports, which is owned and run by Helen Byford from Colchester and Jude Walthew from Felsted.

The business sells women’s sports and gym wear and has images taken by Sally featured on their website with their clothing modelled by Jade and Hollie.

Hollie is the owner of the CHF Gym in Braintree and provides a location for many of the group’s activities.

Hollie brought her gym back from the brink after lockdown and recently won independent gym of the year at the London and South Eat England Prestige Awards.

Jade says the secret to their recent success is the willingness to support each other.

She said: “We don’t pay each other, we literally support each other’s businesses, as we believe when women support each other, incredible things happen.

“I have been lucky enough to launch a brand new business in January 2021 after quitting my employed job and taking a risk to branch out on my own.

“Helping to keep people fit and healthy is a huge passion of mine and I am lucky enough to now be able to do this, reaching out to people all over the world.

“I currently have members in France, Luxembourg, the USA and the UK.

“Supporting each other has enabled our businesses to grow.”