Doing Business: Riding the Savage Economic Tides of the US Recovery


SSince the start of the pandemic in February 2020, the coronavirus has dictated economic results.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US economy experienced unprecedented and historic expansive growth from 2009 until the pandemic struck in 2020. In fact, according to the same IMF blog, the “Great Lockdown” was the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, including the Great Recession of 2007.

Enter AJ Moyer, CEO of C3bank, a seasoned financier at the top of his game riding a declining COVID-19 tsunami in the vast ocean of the global economy.

And much like a surfer taking off gnarly waves in Fiji, Costa Rica and Western Samoa, or closer to home in Southern California, Moyer is focusing on the ebb and flow of the market to make a lasting imprint in the county. of the North and the region.

No doubt Moyer’s experience as a globe-trotting surfer (Moyer is a former captain of the University of San Diego surf team) contributes to his lucid appreciation of the capricious market conditions.

“This is how we run our business, with cautious optimism. So we’re ready for any kind of scenario, ”Moyer said. “The economy continues to evolve, but in the banking industry we are always looking at different scenarios as well.”

Classroom Valedictorian with years of experience as a senior auditor and C-level accounting executive, Moyer effortlessly shifts from the mindset of a macroeconomist to a regional banking manager intimately familiar with the pulse of a unstable local economy and unpredictable macro conditions.

Specifically, Moyer and his team at C3bank focus on three key ideas: small business survival, growth, and positive cash flow exceptionalism.

“With our diverse (entrepreneurial) experience on our board (administrators), from an optometrist to an engineer who holds numerous patents across the country, the common denominator is that they have all been familiar with different forms of business forecasting and have run several companies in their careers, ”he said. Moyer said.

That’s a fluke for North County, if not a positive omen for local businesses – a team of incumbent small business owners, with nearly 200 years of relevant experience, running a bank looking to partner with small businesses. .

For example, C3bank has provided more than $ 175 million in Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans to support local business owners throughout the pandemic.

And Moyer’s cautious optimism goes hand in hand with main national economic indicators. In the first quarter of 2021, national unemployment statistics are down and jobs are up; average hourly earnings are increasing and real gross domestic product (GDP) has increased.

All indicators, including consumption, investment and interest rate indicators, point to continued market and economic recovery. There is an inverse correlation between declining COVID-19 statistics and everyone’s collective economic fortunes.

Weekend and weekly eye tests show entertainment venues reopening, vaccinated people meeting without masks as directed by the CDC, increasingly congested trips to the workplace, and lines of cars to outside schools.

GDP grew at an annual rate of 6.4% in the first quarter of this year. Many economists are optimistic about their forecasts for Q2 and Q3 2021.

Moyer also has strong ideas on how to exit from a once-in-a-century pandemic.

“And so, what we’re doing is re-engaging clients as much as possible and reassessing their strategic plans with them,” Moyer said. “Some companies have struggled very hard with the impact of COVID. Some have done very well and may have accumulated excess cash.

“So from our point of view, our goal is to get together again with these local business owners, to understand what they are trying to achieve in the future, how their businesses have developed over the years. past year and how we can best help them in the future. ”

There it is again – the effortless balance of a regional manager mindset with a C-level leadership toolkit that has made C3bank a local foundation providing super fuel to small businesses.

Created in 2014, C3bank (formerly First National Bank of Southern California) has branches in Encinitas, San Marcos and Riverside.

The bank enjoys a unique economic niche – just three locations occupy nearly 10% of the local market, according to the Federal Depository Insurance Company (FDIC.gov).

As a business, C3bank competes with Wells Fargo, JP Chase and Bank of America, outperforming a number of small independent local institutions. In 2014, C3bank’s assets amounted to $ 140 million. Today, the financial institution’s assets total nearly $ 625 million.

C3bank is ranked among the fastest growing banks in California and continues to be ranked among the soundest banks in the country (depositaccounts.com). Two national rating services, Bankrate.com and Bauer Financial, both gave C3bank their highest five-star rating.

Indeed, Moyer knows a thing or two about the balance sheet, the income statement and the making of a deal. And he and C3 Bank appear determined to close deals with small businesses in northern San Diego County.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: In Part II, I will focus on Moyer, C3bank and PPP relief. The next columns will present the true diagnoses of Carlsbad and also examine Carlsbad as a national and international economy.

Patrick A. Howell is a award-winning financier, incumbent entrepreneur and author of “Dispatches from the Vanguard” (Repeater Books and Penguin Random House, 2020). He is co-founder and president of Victory & Noble, a storytelling and media company, as well as the host of the show. Obtaineals Done. “ He resides in Carlsbad and is the # 1 fan of his son SharkHeart, a runner, a baller and a swimmer.


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