CCNB Featured in GS Magazine
COVID ENTREPRENEURS. YES, IT’S A REAL THING
Stephanie English, CCNB’s Vice President, and South Strand City Executive shares some insight and advice for those starting a new business.
Grand Strand Magazine, February/March – For many, the COVID-19 pandemic was a time of stress and uncertainty. Nationwide, the pandemic forced furloughs, layoffs, and some business closures, while nimble companies quickly altered business methods and found innovative ways to overcome obstacles. For others, the pandemic has become a catalyst for change. Those who embodied an entrepreneurial spirit put their creative juices to good use and took the opportunity to fulfill their lifelong dreams by starting small businesses.
According to the Census Bureau, more than 4.4 million new businesses have been created in the U.S. since March 2020. The number far exceeds the expected uptick that occurs during a typical recession. Moreover, the upsurge that began at the outset of the pandemic spurred half a million new U.S. businesses in January 2021 alone. Complemented by the acceleration of new technology, the number of companies formed to sell goods and services via the internet has doubled since the pandemic began — a more significant change than any other industry.
“When times get tough, we get entrepreneurial,” says CCNB’s Stephanie English, Vice President and South Strand City Executive for Coastal Carolina National Bank. “At CCNB, we refer to this as putting your ‘We Can Do That’ spirit into action, something our bankers do every day for our customers. ‘We Can Do That!’ is not only the bank’s tagline; it’s a mindset the entire company embraces,” says English.
While existing businesses were adapting to the realities of the pandemic, entrepreneurs saw an opportunity and leaped during a period of heightened uncertainty. According to a recent survey conducted by Salesforce, fifty-six percent of entrepreneurs said now is a better time to start a business than before the pandemic. The study also revealed a common thread. Most of these entrepreneurs claimed that focusing on their start-ups provided a sense of optimism and self-reliance – a welcome diversion to the pessimistic narrative often featured in our national news.
According to the latest GEM data, there has been a rising trend in the female entrepreneurial rate over the last several years. Approximately seventeen percent of the total female working-age population own businesses. In 2019 it was 13.6%, up from 10.7% in 2018.
The entrepreneurial gender gap has also narrowed. There are nine women entrepreneurs for every ten men entrepreneurs in the United States today. The ratio for the previous year was 7.5 to 10.
“As many new businesses hit their annual milestones, founders are looking to the future. Some are considering changing business models to accommodate post-pandemic life and potentially investing in brick-and-mortar locations, and this is where we shine. As a community bank, lending to small businesses is CCNB’s sweet spot, and we are here to put our ‘We Can Do That’ spirit to work for you,” says English.
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, women-owned businesses account for just thirty-nine percent of privately owned firms. A woman owns one in five companies with over one million dollars in revenue.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) helps women entrepreneurs launch new businesses, compete in the marketplace, and provide women with training and funding opportunities.
“Regardless of gender, as a commercial lender, I understand the concerns all entrepreneurs face as they decide to take these next steps towards owning a business. It’s been my experience that women tend to be a bit more open about how vulnerable they feel as they embark on business ownership, especially when balancing a family with a new endeavor. Generally speaking, women see their vulnerability as a disadvantage, but I see otherwise. I remind them of an adage.
‘If you want something done, ask a busy mom.’ The multi-tasking ability of someone who’s balanced childrearing with a career provides a huge advantage when owning a business. These traits often translate into characteristics of successful business owners, such as setting realistic goals and being open to taking advice from those who have your best interest at heart. Establishing a solid relationship with a banker now who is willing to take the time to understand your business goals will help you prepare for a successful future. Together, we can do this,” says English.
About CCNB Coastal Carolina National Bank, CCNB is a locally operated financial institution focused on providing personalized service and offering a full suite of business services. Headquartered in Myrtle Beach, the bank has seven locations throughout South Carolina.
Click here to contact Stephanie English.