Community Futures Peterborough is focusing on the “futures” part of their name with a free breakfast seminar designed to get business owners thinking ahead to the transition, succession, or sale of their business.
Held on Tuesday, October 17th from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Peterborough Golf and Country Club, the morning seminar will provide participants with a free breakfast while they listen to and engage with industry experts. Hosted in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) during Small Business Week, the seminar includes a fireside chat, panel discussion, and question-and-answer session.
Offering professional guidance and direct access to experts, the workshop is designed for those aiming to transition their business to the next generation, those looking to do so within the next five to seven years, those wanting to understand the valuation of their business, and those looking to purchase an existing business.
“In Peterborough, we do a really great job in our entrepreneurial ecosystem of getting businesses launched,” says Devon Girard, executive director of Community Futures Peterborough. “With this seminar, we’re looking at how we can better serve entrepreneurs in our small business community once they’ve done that expansion phase.”
Since 1985, Community Futures Peterborough has been supporting community economic development in the city and county of Peterborough by helping small businesses through flexible financing and advisory support.
Girard explains that with the region’s aging population, Community Futures Peterborough wants to ensure that owners looking to pass on their business have the knowledge, connections, and tools to do so — and that they begin thinking about the process early.
“What we’re hearing is business owners are ready to sell their business without recognizing and knowing the work that should have been done five to seven years before the sale of their business,” she explains, adding that the work of structuring businesses for valuation and the most tax-efficient sales should come years before an owner is ready to sell.
“It’s become apparent that there’s a need for better understanding of that process and how it works, and we’re just trying to do our best to help facilitate that conversation in our community.”
The event will begin bright and early with doors opening at 7:30 a.m. While participants are enjoying the free breakfast, a fireside chat will be moderated by Heather Hallahan, a senior account manager at BDC, with local serial entrepreneur John Gillis sharing his experience and insights.
Following the fireside chat will be a facilitated panel discussion featuring Darrell Wade, a family enterprise advisor and co-founder of Park Place Financial, and Nicole Truman, a partner and lawyer specializing in business and corporate law at Fox Law. Matt Holmes and Michael Riseley, co-founders of Holmes Riseley CPAs and Tax Advisors, will also be in attendance, sharing their combined three decades of experience in business valuation, tax planning, and business planning.
“We really want to start with offering a thorough education to the community and introducing them to professionals in the area who are there to help,” says Girard. “Then we will really begin to educate them on how they can work with their own advisory team and learn a little bit about what’s expected.”
Girard explains that bringing in these local industry experts will further highlight the services that are available right in the city and county of Peterborough.
“This is work that should be done by professionals and Peterborough is really lucky with a wide variety of professionals who do provide expert service,” says Girard. “This work doesn’t have to be done from lawyers and accountants in Toronto. We have great professional services right here.”
The discussion will end with a question-and-answer period, before participants are given the opportunity to sign up for a series of workshops led by the experts that will take place every two weeks beyond the seminar.
Workshop topics will include valuation services led by Riseley and Holmes, government and legal structure with Truman, and financing the purchase or sale of a business with Wade.
“Our goal is twofold,” explains Girard, “We want people to come to this event and get inspired, but we’re not just leaving them hanging. We will provide those logical next steps with presentations over those six weeks so that they have an actionable road map for how they can start this process and learn more about those specific areas of business sale and business transition.”
A few seats are left for the October 17th seminar, with priority going to business owners. The number of professional advisors in attendance has been limited to ensure more seats are available for business owners and those looking to purchase a business. There will be no media present. To register, visit eventbrite.ca/e/722082025777.
For more information about Community Futures Peterborough, and for updates on future workshops in the succession and valuation series, visit communityfuturespeterborough.ca.