April 26, 2021 by Erica Ford (sponsored by South Shore Bank)
For South Shore Sports Center, an indoor sports complex and recreational facility, the economic impact of the pandemic shutdown could have been catastrophic. Thanks to their smart business decisions as well as supportive service from South Shore Bank, the Hingham sports center is still open and turning athletes into the best players—and people—they can be.
With South Shore Bank’s assistance, South Shore Sports Center obtained a Paycheck Protection Program loan, a potentially forgivable loan created by the Small Business Administration in response to COVID-19. Owner Liz Lima says, “While other banks were waving people away, South Shore Bank went above and beyond to help us, and other local businesses get the loan. It was a lifeline that allowed us to thrive.” John Mannion, Senior Relationship & Lending Team Leader, assisted Lima with the PPP process. “John made everything go smoothly. When people help you in your time of need, that means everything.”
Lima also secured a loan with South Shore Bank that allowed her to buy the facility that houses South Shore Sports Center, which she had been renting for years. “I talked to multiple banks, and South Shore Bank really earned my business. I also used them for the mortgage on my home and transferred my personal and business accounts to them. They care about me and my businesses, and I can always reach a person right away instead of calling a 1-800 number and sitting on hold. Working with South Shore Bank, I realize how fantastic their staff and services are compared to other banks.”
South Shore Sports Center is a recreational sports facility with two artificial turf fields, batting cages and a regulation basketball court. In addition, it has a lounge with a full-service bar and is a popular locale for birthdays and private events. The facility offers sports programs for girls and boys from ages two through college, including youth leagues, clinics, camps and services for soccer, basketball, flag football, lacrosse, field hockey, baseball and more. The fun is not just for kids, as they also offer adult soccer and basketball leagues and private rentals for individual groups and fundraisers. It launched its popular Kids World indoor play center (ages 1-6) last year, which is currently on pause due to COVID-19. It is also home to many great local programs such as South Shore Select, a year-round soccer school whose mission is to develop the best players and people possible. Select is also one of the most successful youth soccer organizations in the country. “We have won a lot of championships, but winning isn’t the focus,” says Lima, who is also the founder and owner of South Shore Select. “Our approach is holistic development on and off the field.” Lima herself played professional soccer after playing for Rockland High School and then Harvard University. “The lessons I learned through soccer and other team sports helped me navigate obstacles as a young entrepreneur,” she says.
Lima has been operating businesses for over 15 years and her experience gave her the flexibility to adapt in response to the coronavirus crisis. “Our first priority is to keep our players and families healthy. In March of 2020 we went completely virtual during the shutdown, and then opened back up over the summer. We have safety protocols in place to ensure compliance with all COVID-19 regulations.”
South Shore Sports Center and South Shore Select are Women-Owned Small Businesses and more than just athletic entities; they are a welcoming place with programs for everyone. “Important across all of our organizations are the tenets of community and giving back. South Shore Bank shares those values, and you can see it in how they treat their clients and how they serve the community,” says Lima. “I refer people to them because I believe in them. They are about relationships, not transactions, and that is why I will continue to be loyal to South Shore Bank.”