One small business that’s proven to provide an invaluable service despite the shaky consumer climate is Stroller Strides – a franchised stroller exercise program for new moms found in over 800 national and Canadian locations. “I’m definitely not losing clients,” explains Rachel Pustilnik, owner of the Richmond, VA Stroller Strides. “My customers really see the value of the program, not just as a fun and effective exercise class, but as their children’s playgroup, their mom’s club and their immediate social community.” Adds Stephanie Ramirez, owner of the Knoxville, TN Stroller Strides, “I don’t think people see physical fitness as a luxury. Exercise and social support are a necessity during challenging times, as they are surefire ways to relieve stress and elevate mood.” Founded in 2001, Stroller Strides boasts more than 275 franchises in 47 states and British Columbia and brings on an average of six to eight new franchises each month. Its exponential growth is attributed to its wide appeal to moms – as both potential franchisees and class participants. “Stroller Strides franchising is desirable even during challenging economic times, as it provides moms with a way to contribute extra income to the family while still staying at home with the kids,” explains Lisa Druxman, company founder.