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Western REN to hold annual summit Oct. 22 in Meteghan; event to focus on succession planning

The Western Regional Enterprise Network will hold its annual summit Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Meteghan fire hall.
The Western Regional Enterprise Network will hold its annual summit Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Meteghan fire hall. - Contributed

The Western Regional Enterprise Network will hold its sixth annual summit Tuesday, Oct. 22, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Meteghan fire hall.

The event’s theme is Succession Simplified.

As of Thursday afternoon, Oct. 17, there were still spots available for people to take part, said Erika Rolston of the Western REN.

“We’re pushing about 60 people so far, so I’d be comfortable with another 10 or 15 folks coming in,” she said.

The annual summits have covered various topics over the years.

“We get a good mix of  public-sector agencies that support businesses and then the private sector,” she said. “We generally aim for about half-and-half in the room, so we’re getting different perspectives in the discussion. It is usually a really good conversation. People make good connections with one another as well. It’s a good networking opportunity for both public and private sectors.”

Here’s a bit more about this year’s event:

BACKGROUND:

Nearly a year ago, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released the results of a survey on succession planning. The results indicated that 72 per cent of small business owners intend to exit their business within the next decade. Some of the relevant statistics from that survey:

  • 81 per cent of owners intend the sale of their business to set them up for retirement
  • 51 per cent of owners have no plan, at all, for their business transition
  • 41 per cent of owners have an informal plan

This survey reported that over $1.5 trillion in assets is set to change hands within the next 10 years. The report also included recommendations to business owners, professionals, financial institutions and governments on ways to support the transition of those assets. For business owners, recommendations include:

  • Plan early and with professional advice
  • Include your successor in the planning
  • Consider alternate exit strategies
  • Get a pricing analysis done and monitor it over time

REGIONAL RELEVANCE:

In western Nova Scotia, census data indicates that over 15,000 people are of an age where they are expected to retire in the coming few years.

“If the numbers from the CFIB survey are applied to our population, as many as 1,850 businesses could be at risk of closure within 10 years, if there is not a successful business transition,” the Western REN says.

SUMMIT:

The Western REN Summit will host two panels and a keynote speaker to explore topics such as:

  • How to prepare to sell a business
  • Finding the right buyer
  • Getting the price tag right
  • Improving the value of your business
  • Navigating family transitions
  • Various types of sale transactions
  • Protecting your workforce
  • How one business can impact a regional economy

The first panel highlights three regional business people with personal experience in buying and selling businesses, moderated by the Western REN succession and connector program manager Brenda LaGrandeur.

The second panel consists of experts able to offer advice and insights from a professional perspective, moderated by Angie Greene, chartered accountant, business owner and Western REN director.

The panels and keynote will be recorded via Facebook Live Stream.

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