Real estate brokerage firm urging small businesses to rely on SCORE

Southern Illinois’ largest commercial real estate brokerage firm is asking business executives to support a well-known nonprofit organization that supports small-business owners.

BARBERMURPHY’s 19-member team of brokers says they are encountering small businesses that are doing their best to pivot from the economic impacts of COVID. The firm’s brokers are meeting with businesses across all industry sectors that have been hit hard by the pandemic and struggling to adapt to the new normal.

Brokers say many small businesses are retooling their strategies not only in light of the pandemic, but due to generational ownership transitions and market changes.

Broker Associate Mike Pierceall, who has been with BARBERMURPHY since 2010 and has 38 years’ worth of experience in many facets of economic development and public administration throughout Southern Illinois, said he regularly talks with the region’s mayors and economic development leaders, many of whom he has worked alongside for nearly four decades.

Out of these conversations comes a “true-to-life snapshot” of how small business owners are faring in the current economic and health climate, he said.

“Deals are getting done, but timelines are often lengthening to give all the parties – the banks, title companies, county courthouses and others – time to complete the necessary paperwork,” he said.

Add to this the stress small business owners routinely face such as financial pressures, generational ownership successions and more, and it’s an increasingly challenging environment. Pierceall says business owners need more support, patience and wise counsel than ever.

Enter SCORE, the nonprofit organization that has been in existence for more than 55 years and is a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Since its inception, SCORE has assisted more than 11 million business owners nationwide. In the St. Louis metro area, SCORE’s 70 business counselors – many of them current or past business owners – have served more than 1,000 clients in FY 2020 alone (a 20 percent increase over last year), many of them seeking guidance on how to apply for and utilize PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans from the SBA.

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