As Boomers Retire, Millions of Small Businesses Will Change Hands. Can We Keep Them Local?
“We in the “new economy” movement have long talked about the importance of employee ownership, due to its deep benefits to workers, businesses, and society; and we’ve talked about the potential opportunity we have to tap the “Silver Tsunami” of retiring baby boomer business owners to sell businesses to their workers.
As we talk with business owners about what they want most when they retire, over and over again we hear that they want their businesses to remain successful; for their customers, employees, and vendors to be taken care of; and for their mission to continue to thrive.
The choice we have in front of us is clear: Do nothing, and watch wealth inequality in the U.S. continue to increase as these vital, locally owned businesses go away. Or, we can seize this opportunity to deepen the impact of these businesses on local communities by not only keeping them locally owned, but transitioning them to becoming worker-owned.
What will it take to tap this wave? Here are four key ingredients:”