RETAIN BUSINESSESin Miami-Dade County, Florida
As business owners retire, we help keep these businesses
thriving in our communities
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Employee ownership as a strategy for business retention
With a population of 2.76 million, Miami-Dade is the most populous county in Florida and is located in the southeastern part of the state. As the commercial, financial and cultural hub of Florida, Miami-Dade County is critical to the region’s small business economy. The median household income of its residents is $52,000, and currently, almost twenty percent of the county’s population lives in poverty.
Miami-Dade County seeks to curb the effects of the Silver Tsunami
Small, locally owned businesses are essential to Miami-Dade County’s local economy and community vitality. Among the challenges the county faces is keeping small businesses and the jobs they provide rooted in the community, as the Silver Tsunami – the retirement of baby boomer business owners – impacts Miami-Dade County.
The silent risk of the Silver Tsunami
Baby boomers (those born between 1946-1964) own nearly half of all businesses with employees in Miami-Dade County. Cities and regions need to understand the risk of the so-called Silver Tsunami as these business owners retire. The risk is that these legacy businesses won’t be retained locally — either because they quietly close down, are sold to out of area buyers, or simply don’t have a succession plan as the owner marches into retirement.
Miami-Dade County’s proactive approach
The city of San Francisco, CA is taking a very proactive look at this issue and is supporting local and employee ownership succession. The city has partnered with Project Equity to shine a light on the need for smart succession planning and to develop an effective strategy to engage with their legacy businesses.
Project Equity performed an analysis for San Francisco to quantify the number of privately-held companies with employees that are 20 years or older — a good indication that they need succession planning — and the impact if these businesses are not retained.
- Represent almost 8,000 of the city’s businesses
- Employ an estimated 100,000 individuals
- Generate over $65B in revenue
Local ownership over the long-term
Keeping companies locally owned over the long term is a critical economic development strategy. Only 15 percent of businesses get passed onto the next generation because the kids aren’t interested in taking over their parent’s business. According to BizBuySell, the largest online marketplace for businesses, only 20 percent of businesses listed for sale ever sell. We clearly need more strategies for local business succession to avoid businesses inadvertently closing their doors due to lack of planning. The good news is employee ownership is viable for many companies, and it provides similar benefits to family ownership.
Employee ownership may be unfamiliar to many, but it keeps companies rooted in place, provides quality jobs and strengthens businesses for the long-term. It also offers a ready solution to the retiring business owner: there’s a buyer right there under your nose — the very employees who helped you build the company.
Local ownership is important to our region’s future. Let’s make sure the Silver Tsunami doesn’t put us at risk.
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We chose to have Alison represent our co-founders in this important fellowship, and this honor reflects on the hard work and amazing talent of our entire team.
SBDC hosts meetings about employee ownership succession
On September 5th, 2019, Project Equity and Shared Capital unveiled a new collaborative initiative, Accelerate Employee Ownership, at a public launch event in Long Beach, CA.