The entire world is struggling because of the pandemic, with small businesses being one of the strongest hit sectors in the economy. As a result, entrepreneurs have become increasingly desperate. Chaos, fear, and fraud have never been more prevalent. For us to recover from this crisis, we need to strike a balance between reality and compassion with our finances.
In this episode, long-time entrepreneur Chris Hurn talks about the duty to help small businesses. He also provides insights to everyone challenged by the pandemic. Despite the challenges, Chris shares his optimism and hopefulness for entrepreneurial ingenuity and prosperity.
Listen to the episode and learn about how small businesses are coping during these trying times.
- Fountainhead Commercial Capital
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3 Reasons to Listen:
- Discover insights regarding leadership and entrepreneurship during the present crisis.
- Find out how Chris and his company helped thousands of small business owners.
- Learn about Chris' economic predictions for this pandemic.
Chris Hurn is an entrepreneur, author, and business executive working in the small business lending field. He is the Founder & CEO of Fountainhead Commercial Capital and the former Founder & CEO of Mercantile Capital Corporation.
He was recently named CEO of the Year by Orlando Business Journal. He believes it is his duty and purpose to assist small businesses during these trying times.
[03:15] Chris Explains What His Company Does
- Chris manages a non-bank lending company for the small business community in the US.
- He has been a productive individual and entrepreneur ever since he was 8 years old.
- The pandemic has made small businesses struggle, and it also gave Chris and his company many challenges.
- He sold his first lending company to a bank, and the company he founded has been scaling tremendously.
- Looking back, he never doubted himself that he wouldn’t be successful.
[11:59] Political Stances in America
- The US political crisis is difficult, but we will surely get through the health, economic, and political crises. It’s just a matter of when.
- Chris has personally been on both ends of the spectrum of political parties and is currently bipartisan.
- He believes in the adage that young and idealistic people are liberal-leaning, and you become conservative the older you get.
- There has to be civility for progress to occur as there will always be someone who fundamentally disagrees with you.
- Prosperity and entrepreneurialism have raised people's standard of living more than any bureaucrat or politician has ever done.
[15:53] “We've got to be more civil to one another. Because when we are most civil with one another, that's when we can make the most progress for everybody.” - Click Here to Tweet This
[18:50] The COVID-19 Pandemic Compared to 9/11 and the 2008 Financial Crisis
- The difference lies in that we are battling an enemy that we cannot see, and we don’t know when it will end.
- There is much more pessimism, as it is statistically worse than 9/11 or the previous Great Recession.
- It is a strange and paradoxical time, and it feels troubling, exhausting, and heavy.
- Nonetheless, he likes to view these instances as challenges and tests for growth.
[25:42] Chris’s Family Situation and What Kids Go Through Nowadays
- The Generation Z kids have had a rough time since they were children up to now during the pandemic.
- Education has emphasized rote memorization and not enough critical thinking and other skills to prepare them for employment.
- Chris has started to become less strict with his son when it comes to video games.
- His wife has been incredibly supportive during the crisis.
- He’s been thinking of downsizing their house to simplify their lives. Chris is currently getting involved in planning and designing their future house.
[35:19] How Orlando Is Coping with the Virus
- Chris was thrilled to move to Orlando as the weather was perfect, it was welcoming and hospitable. It was indeed “the happiest place on Earth” for him.
- The population has grown tremendously, but it is rare to find someone who was born in Orlando.
- Due to the closings, there have been plenty of transportation infrastructure, construction fixes, and reforming roads.
- There are tons of tourist spots and landmarks in Orlando, and it’s just a matter of time before people visit again.
[47:59] The Premonitions of the Pandemic
- Chris and his company were off to a great start during the early months of 2020.
- The government’s economic stimulus for small businesses has drastically increased their workload and logistical considerations.
- Listen to the full episode to learn the arduous process Chris had to pivot around to help small businesses.
[48:15] Adapting to the Pandemic’s Unpredictability
- Despite having good intentions, the government’s spread of information can’t help but be confusing and chaotic.
- There has been a staggering amount of fraud due to the economic stimulus.
- The mess of it all called for a different type of leadership, much like wartime leadership.
- Chris used the economic crisis as an opportunity to become the first non-bank to access capital from the Federal Reserve.
- It was a massive effort and a time-consuming process, but it was ultimately a lifesaver for his clients.
[50:46] “I very much did feel like this is economic warfare, and we were on the front lines, and it's chaotic and hectic.” - Click Here to Tweet This
[54:39] How His Staff Handled the Crisis
- Chris believed that if you play by the rules when the rules aren’t laid out, you are disadvantaged.
- His staff broke down within the first month as clients were increasingly desperate. They had to outsource call centers due to the volume of inbound calls.
- People deal with adversity differently, and Chris was thankful that his staff had such strong character.
- Unfortunately, he still had to let some people go as they were paralyzed by fear and unable to do anything.
- They had to do some detective work to uncover the large number of frauds attempting to take advantage of the American taxpayer.
[57:53] “In times of crisis, I think it really brings out people's true character. For good, and for bad. Fortunately in my case, I’ve had great character people.” - Click Here to Tweet This
[1:02:24] Business Trends Chris Witnessed
- Given a choice not to take the money and lay people off, Chris believes it's still best to participate in stabilizing the economy.
- Chris remembers discussions where he argued that the pandemic would be longer than a few months, and they had to go big.
- The priority is to avoid anarchy by rebuilding the economy.
[1:04:38] “This is all about stabilizing the economy, because if you don't stabilize the economy, eventually people end up on the streets with pickets and torches, and that's, we don't want that. You know, that's, that's what we're trying to prevent.” - Click Here to Tweet This
[1:05:25] Economic Forecasts in 2021
- Chris expects more legislative tweaks and forgiveness of loans less than $50,000.
- Forgiving loans and government grants live up to the true spirit of the law.
- If the government doesn’t come up with something soon, the desperation will only increase during the fourth quarter and 2021.
- Regardless of the outcome of the election, small businesses, which are bipartisan, should be protected.
[1:13:31] Words of Wisdom from Chris
- Your priority is to protect your livelihood, and you will make tough decisions and sacrifices regarding your expenses.
- Sometimes, reducing overall revenue by cutting unprofitable service or product lines would ultimately increase net profit in the long-term.
- As much as it is tough to be a business owner, there has to be a balance between humanity and compassion.
- As a man of action, Chris believes in being in motion to make a difference.
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