Never before has ‘perseverance’ been such a necessity for all of us in Caswell as well as in our state, nation and worldwide as we all make our way through these COVID-19 times. Whether it is working through the challenge of getting to the grocery store with gloves, masks and social distancing or working as a first responder putting lives on the line for others, working with elderly family members to assist in their isolating or the front line grocery and bank workers…it seems that everyone in our community is somehow working their way through day to day life during this pandemic.
Perseverance is also a requirement if you are a small business owner. Especially when working in a small rural community where both customers and talent pools are not as plentiful as in larger cities. Small business owners are due much admiration for their willingness to take a risk to build something from nothing, hire others, take on the responsibility of providing a service as well as the burden of providing a way for others to make a living. A huge lift indeed.
If you ask owner of KB Hamlett Insurance, Kimberly Hamlett, she will agree that perseverance is truly required to be a small business owner. Her grit, determination and persistence have been a part of her life all along. Kimberly credits her strong faith for developing these attributes she now has. It not only requires a ‘leap of faith’ to begin a small business, but Kimberly has strong Christian beliefs that also provide the foundation for the business too.
Like many in our rural community, Kimberly grew up in Caswell and has lived here her entire life. In a time when business owners were typically male, Kimberly broke that glass ceiling in Caswell. Being able to use her business as a platform to share her faith is the driving force behind Kimberly’s motivation. If you stop into the office, you will see evidence of this faith. Whether it is their participation in a Bible ministry where they have been able to donate numerous Bibles to organizations in need or the bight yellow signs you will see in the lobby, you notice there is a different atmosphere. These ‘Thank you, Jesus” signs are sold and the office donates the proceeds to needy in the community. With a special love for the elderly, it is not uncommon for the team to provide assistance to this population that sometimes are not even customers.
The team at the KB Insurance office is made of nine professionals of which seven are family members thus KB Hamlett is truly a family operation. The agency began in 2002 in a small office of Highway 86. Over the years, as the business grew as Kimberly was able to purchase a couple other small insurance agencies in the area to build the existing operation. With the bulk of customers right here in Caswell, the business footprint extends across the state, Virginia, South Carolina and even in Pennsylvania.
And as the Pew Research Center says in a recent survey, more than 75% of Americans identify with an organized religion and more that 90% of that subset are Christians. Although both totals are down since the last Pew survey in 2007, this figure may likely increase during this time of pandemic. We are a nation of God-fearing businesses, many as committed to Christianity as we are to the P&L.
During these COVID-19 times, KB Hamlett Insurance has initiated procedures to protect customers and the staff. Guidelines on not crowding the lobby area posted on the front door. A plexiglass shield has been placed at the front desk counter as a safeguard. The team sanitizes the office and practice the hand washing and social distancing guidelines regularly. Having been a member of the Caswell County Chamber of Commerce since the office began, the Chamber appreciates the support of organizations like KB Hamlett Insurance that allow the Chamber to provide services to the community.
According to HubSpot, a leading online resource offering consulting services and an online academy for inbound marketing tactics, there are three ways identified of how faith impacts our work; through motivation, method and manner. If you know Christ and live your life accordingly, your motivation in how you bring your faith to work is evident. The method that people of faith use in their business approach exhibits their dedication to both excellence (in the day to day tasks) and in their servanthood towards customers, vendors and staff members. The manner a Christian business owner might bring their philosophy to like may be driven by internally or more personal approach or by identifying a larger more external cause such as feeding the hungry.