Abby Capote copy

What do riding a horse, and helping small business owners succeed, have in common?

“Everything,” according to Abby Capote, a former professional equestrian trainer and NCIFund’s Eastern North Carolina Business Lender. “When you train a horse, you have to exhibit tremendous patience and take the rough spots along with the good days. Patience, perseverance and resiliency are qualities that small business owners must have, or learn, in order to succeed.”

Abby serves eastern North Carolina and the Triangle region (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) from Durham. Her small business clients are spread from Elizabeth City to Wilmington to Raleigh.  “I love working in different local market ecosystems," she says. “One day I’m working with a coastal business selling seafood nationwide, and the next I’m counseling someone on how to maximize the residential and business revenue streams from her mixed use downtown property. It’s a great job.”

Abby celebrated her one-year anniversary with NCIFund on August 1. Although still the “newbie” on the team, she is a veteran when it comes to working with small businesses across a spectrum of geographies and economies.

“I began my career 20+ years ago in my home state of Florida, financing yachts! But I found my greatest joy is working with small business owners. I was part of a team that brought the SBA 504 program to market in Tampa and brought that experience with me when my husband and I moved to North Carolina in 1995.”

“As a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution), NCIFund’s goal is to create jobs in distressed communities. Of course, every loan has to cash flow, but we get creative to serve individuals who can’t receive traditional financing. We not only partner with CDCs to make SBA 504 loans, but we also partner with banks by taking a subordinated position behind their loan.”

“In two or three years, our clients may be called on by the same banks that referred them to us! It’s a little bittersweet to watch your client graduate to traditional financing, but that is the role we play. It is a joy to know you have helped them.”

Abby and NCIFund recently funded Topsail Steamer (“We’ve got the pot, you pick the spot”), which sells pots chock full of scallops, shrimp and crab legs in Surf City and Wilmington, two popular NC beach destinations. The company just opened a third location in Ocean City, NJ, the hometown of owner Danielle Mahon. 

On an early AM visit to the business, Abby was surprised to hear an unusual sound coming from the front register -- the sound of dozens of overnight on-line order receipts being printed. COVID has forced many families to forego their traditional beach vacations, but Danielle has found they still want to enjoy seafood.

“There’s a perfect example of the creativity and resiliency NCIFund wants to fund,” Abby says.

Abby can be reached via phone at 919-302-4661 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..