VICTORIA - Small business owners looking to retire or sell their businesses to the next generation can now smooth the transition with the help of two new government-funded programs.
Thompson Rivers University's (TRU) Shift program, funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Development Market Agreement (LMDA), will create a step-by-step curriculum to simplify the process of small business succession. Consisting of six modules, the curriculum will cover topics such as business valuation, preparing for ownership, knowledge transfer and human-resource issues.
The full curriculum will be made available to small business owners and prospective owners free of charge this fall, and can be accessed through a workbook format or online through TRU's website.
The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training is also working with Community Futures British Columbia to offer training workshops to small business owners throughout the province on strategies for small business succession.
The Business Owner Succession Strategies (BOSS) program will be delivered on the ground by Venture Connect Inc. and will include:
- 30 regional business succession planning training workshops;
- 22 regional business succession presentation sessions to local business sector representatives;
- 20 regional train-the-trainer business succession planning workshops to train regional staff to deliver future training sessions in their communities; and
- The development of an electronic train-the-trainer practical training handbook for regional trainers to use for future training workshops.
These projects fulfil a BC Small Business Accord action item, a government commitment to implement a mobile trainer program to support small businesses, and a BC Small Business Roundtable 2013 Annual Report recommendation to educate small business owners on the importance of succession planning.
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business -
"Selling your business can be a complicated and confusing process for entrepreneurs. These projects will help teach business owners how to prepare for this transition so that it goes as smoothly as possible. Small business succession is vital to keep local small businesses healthy and viable which will ultimately protect jobs and strengthen communities across the province."
Terry Lake, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson -
"Thompson Rivers University is a strong leader of business excellence in our community. They have quickly become not just a great post-secondary institution, but a vital part of Kamloops and the Interior as a whole. Thanks to the Shift program, businesses will be prepared to pass on their legacy to up and coming entrepreneurs."
Alan Shaver, president and vice-chancellor, Thompson Rivers University -
"The Shift project is a true community partnership. In Kamloops and region we have a vested interest in the continuation and the growth of small business, because healthy small businesses lead to sustainable economies and communities. Together with our partners, we are pleased to be able to share our knowledge and expertise in succession planning locally and with people throughout the province."
Marie Gallant, executive director, Community Futures British Columbia -
"Business succession planning is a key component in addressing the future economic stability of BC's rural communities. We are pleased to announce our sponsorship of this initiative to support business succession planning workshops and the development of skills and tools to further address the issue."
Lori Camire, general manager, Ventures Connect Inc. -
"For many business owners selling their business is a once in a lifetime event and part of their retirement plan. Getting a return on their investment or passing it to the right owner is really important to them. We are pleased to have the opportunity to provide information and strategies to hundreds of business owners throughout the province to assist them in preparing to exit their business."
- The business exit rate is expected to rise rapidly over the next decade as the population grows and demographics shift.
- According to a recent study by CIBC, B.C. is expected to see the largest transfer of business ownership in Canada in the coming decade, with approximately 40% of businesses expected to change hands.
- Research conducted by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training indicates only 20% of business owners in the province have plans for business succession.
- Small business makes up 98% of all business in B.C. and employs over one million people.
- Small business provides nearly 55% of all private-sector jobs in British Columbia, the highest rate in the country.
- There were approximately 385,900 small businesses operating in the province in 2012, 82 per cent of which had fewer than five employees.
- British Columbia ranks first in Canada for the number of small businesses per capita, with 83.5 businesses per 1,000 people.
- TRU is partnering on the SHIFT project with Venture Kamloops, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), KPMG, Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, Small Business BC, Growth Strategy Dynamics, and the BC Chamber of Commerce.
To find out more about the small business succession planning workshops and presentations, please visit: www.ventureconnect.ca
To read about the Small Business Accord, please visit: www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/sbaccord/
To find out about the Small Business Roundtable, check out: www.smallbusinessroundtable.ca/Home.aspx
Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business