Succession, exit planning workshops for Greene Co biz owners

The Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce, Community Solutions, Co-op Dayton, and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University have partnered to offer free workshops on succession or exit planning to small businesses in Yellow Springs and Greene County. The workshops are appropriate for business owners at any point in their career that want to develop financial and personnel goals for their business and chart a path to achieve them.

This October, the introductory workshops will provide an overview of the succession process, so that owners can begin to set goals for themselves and their businesses. At the advanced workshops in November, owners will develop key action steps to plan and achieve a successful exit. Business owners can also schedule one-on-one sessions with Kent State University staff to finalize their individual succession plans.

The workshops and technical assistance are free to business owners with support from the USDA. Owners can review the dates and register for any of the online and in-person workshops at www.coopdayton.org/workshops.

The Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) at Kent State University offers their Succession Planning Program to help small business owners transfer the ownership of their business to the next generation, with a specialty in selling to employees. Since it was founded in 1987, the OEOC has assisted hundreds of companies to retain more than 15,000 jobs in our state.

The workshops and technical assistance will be led by Roy Messing, Director of the OEOC. Messing has over twenty years of experience in commercial finance and served as CFO of a northeast Ohio business. He earned a BA in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Dayton. He holds designations as a Certified Exit Planning Advisor from the Exit Planning Institute and a Certified Value Builder Advisor from the Value Builder System.

Messing describes the program as “beginning with education on business succession, and ultimately we will support individual rural business owners to develop their succession plans to continue and grow the operations of their businesses locally.”

Co-op Dayton is a non-profit organization that supports cooperative businesses to meet community needs, whether that’s access to fresh groceries with the Gem City Market project or to quality job opportunities with the Cooperative Transitions program. Co-op Dayton is currently working with the owners of several small businesses in our region to sell to their employees and structure as employee-owned cooperatives. The succession plan workshops are coordinated by Rachel Meketon, Program Director at Co-op Dayton.

Meketon adds that “the cooperative model offers an exit strategy for small business owners that would like to sell to their employees but cannot afford the initial and ongoing costs of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan or ESOP.” The cooperative model also offers more governance mechanisms than ESOPs.

Register for a workshop here.

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