A group of local Community Futures organizations have joined forces to assist business buyers and sellers to connect and confidently move forward in the business transition process.
The program, now known as BizLink, has proven to provide business buyers and sellers with tools that offer confidentiality and anonymity in buying or selling a local business. Thanks to a three-year, $606,500 Grow Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in 2020, BizLink has been able to expand from a pilot program.
“This three year Grow Grant will arm business buyers and sellers with tools necessary to effectively move these types of business transactions forward with discretion and assurance while meeting needs in our community. I applaud the partnerships formed between these organizations in delivering this much needed program in such an innovative way through BizLink,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North.
BizLink began as a pilot project in 2018 as a partnership between the Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) and Nottawasaga Community Futures, with support from the County of Simcoe, the City of Orillia and other local partners. Funds from the grant will be used to help run the program, and include assisting with staffing, creating information materials, translation, equipment purchases, hosting workshops, and some administrative costs as well. With the OTF grant and continued support from the County of Simcoe, BizLink evolved into a regional program that is also offered now in the Midland and Collingwood areas through the Centre For Business and North Simcoe Community Futures.
“We saw a need: buyers and sellers were not connecting due to privacy issues,” explained Carol Benedetti, BizLink Coordinator. “Buyers and sellers often have concerns over whether they should publicly announce their intention to buy or sell a business. BizLink helps to address this.”
The program partners offering BizLink all have extensive local knowledge and connections making them a great choice to guide entrepreneurs through the full transition process and provide wrap around support for the entire life cycle of a business. They have the expertise to set business buyers and sellers up for success.
The program has built a regional database of buyers and sellers and provides participants with subsidized access to the independent online portal, Succession Matching.com. The portal provides an opportunity to create an individual buyer or seller profile, access to a national database of buyers and sellers and a variety of online learning tools and connections with international investors through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.
Key services that the BizLink offers to buyers and sellers include: Confidentiality and anonymity; connection suggestions based on each individual buyer and seller; referrals to local professional resources, such as business valuators, tax planners, accountants, lawyers, and real estate agents; contact with Immigration Specialists to promote businesses to international buyers; customized sales sheets to promote businesses through local networks; access to financing and business coaching; and workshops on related topics such as Bookkeeping and Business Valuation.
The BizLink team is ready and waiting to serve local business owners and entrepreneurs and looks forward to helping business buyers and sellers realize their dreams! To learn more about how BizLink works, or to register as a buyer or seller, contact Carol Benedetti at 705-325-4903 x 103, or visit www.orilliacdc.com/bizlink
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $115 million to 644 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.