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Time for you to sell your business?

County EDA explores options for assisting in transfer of ownership

June 28, 2020
Chuck Hunt - Register Editor (chunt@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

The Faribault County Economic Development Authority (EDA) has been discussing ways to help local businesses do Succession Planning, when it comes time to sell their business.

Now they are discussing some new steps to take to help out where they can. At their meeting last Tuesday afternoon, held via Zoom, the board members looked at several possibilities, including creation of a Business Succession Revolving Loan Fund, offering a two-night succession planning workshop for small businesses on a regular basis and hosting a train the trainer session for local succession planning resources like bankers, attorneys, financial advisers and the like.

EDA specialist Annie Leibel presented background information on some of these possibilities.

"If the board would like to move forward, I will begin researching funding options for these programs," Leibel said. "A few opportunities for funding include Small Town Grant from Southern Minnesota Initiative Fund (SMIF), Economic Impact Grant from SMIF, Rural Business Development Grant from the USDA."

Board members liked the ideas presented.

"This is exactly what we should do," board member Jack Heinitz said. "We need to help our businesses as much as we can."

Leibel explained she would like to see a separate Succession Planning Fund created by the County EDA and from the cities in the county.

"I think we need a fund with a balance of $150,000," she said. "I think we should ask the other cities for $10,000 to $20,000 to help fund it."

Board chair John Herman agreed.

"Each town has an interest in keeping their businesses," he said. "Losing any business leaves a hole in the town."

Leibel also presented some proposed guidelines for the loans from the fund. Those included having a minimum loan amount of $2,500 and a maximum of $20,000. The maximum term would be 10 years with interest at three to five percent.

In other business at the meeting, the EDA board:

Authorized having the recent EDA Survey results printed up and distributed at the next meeting.

The survey had 248 responses as feedback from the community as to the future goals and priorities.

The EDA board also decided they wanted to meet in person to go over the survey results at their meeting in July at the Ag Center in Blue Earth.

Watched a video update from SMIF about their work in Faribault County, which also included a request for a donation of $2,500.

The EDA had budgeted $2,000 for a SMIF donation but members voted to make it $2,500 and to budget the higher amount for 2021.

Discussed the EDA's outstanding loans, and made several decisions.

The board had voted last month to guarantee a bank loan made by Scotty Biggs BBQ, for $10,101.50, but at last Tuesday's meeting they voted to split the guarantee with the Winnebago EDA.

They also learned the property in Blue Earth which had been owned by Chris Gack of Farmers Insurance was going to be sold at a sheriff's sale on July 6.

The total owed to a bank is $59,054, and that will be the minimum bid. Any bid over that might go to pay off the loan to the EDA which is at $6,749.

Leibel asked the board if they had any interest in the building, but the consensus seemed to be to wait and see what happens with it.

The board also instructed Leibel to continue to contact the former Courier Sentinel newspaper owner about the outstanding loan of $4,158.71, with a last payment of $700 having been made in January.

Several other businesses had their loan payments deferred due to COVID-19, but will resume making payments in August, Leibel told the board.

 
 

 

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