Independently owned and operated businesses are the lifeblood of our local economies. With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day in the United States, a significant portion of privately-owned businesses will change hands or permanently close, putting 1 in 6 jobs at risk. Our local business landscape is about to go through a dramatic shift.
The vast majority (over 85%) of business owners do not have a succession plan in place, and increasingly, many are finding it hard to find a buyer when they are ready to sell. As a result, many of these companies will quietly close down, a small percentage will be passed on to family members or another local owner, and some will be sold to a larger company or out of area buyer. Those in this last category will likely lay off employees and will further concentrate ownership and wealth away from the community. We have the opportunity to keep many of these businesses locally-owned for the long term and to deepen their positive impact on our local economy. How?
By helping them transition to broad-based employee ownership.
Project Equity has released four data studies this year measuring the impact of pending business owner retirements in three regions (SF Bay Area, Twin Cities and Western North Carolina) and nationwide. The data has generated tremendous interest in the opportunity to keep businesses locally rooted through employee ownership.