If someone told you that about half the people who run half of America’s most active and inventive businesses will retire in the next four years, would you care? You should.
Ownership transition is deadly for the 90 percent of American small businesses that are family-owned or closely-held: by some estimates, fewer than 30 percent survive to the second generation and just five percent to the third. And these businesses are the very foundation of this nation, responsible for 45 percent of the United States’ Gross National Product (GNP). While 80 percent of them have 20 or fewer employees, they generate more new products, create more jobs, and contribute more to local communities than the “too big to fail” corporations grabbing headlines today [i].
Let’s face it. The Baby-Boomer generation that created this growth is getting tired. Aging Boomers are considering their retirement options and many are reluctant to stay and fight through one more recession. This trying economy and uncertain market forecast are pushing many small business owners to step away from their role, resulting in one of the largest turnovers in management in the history of American family-owned business.
As citizens of this national community, we all have a responsibility to protect and support our local family businesses.
What can we do?