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Business Succession

Tip Sheet: Checklist for a Business-to-Co-operative Succession Plan

Business-owner’s Guide to Selling a Business to a Co-operative

Co-operative Steering Committee Guide to Buying Out a Business
Tip Sheet: Valuing a Business
Tip Sheet: The 20 Steps of the Business Transfer Process
Companion Guide for Transferring a Business to a Co-operative
The co-operative alternative Carry out a co-operative succession to secure your future A guide for co-operative entrepreneurs


Business Succession in Rural Communities Case Studies

The Acadia Cinema Co-operative Ltd : The Acadia Cinema Co-operative’s primary purpose is to develop and manage an important cultural asset for use by the Wolfville community.

Burton-in-Lonsdale Village Shop Association :Burton in Lonsdale Village Store is one of a growing number of community-owned rural stores and post offices in the United Kingdom (UK) which have developed in response to the continuing decline of rural service provision.

River Village Co-operative Market : In 2006, the only grocery store in Teeswater, Ontario, closed its doors. This closure was the final turnover in a series of private chain stores that had opened and operated in the same location for a short time and then closed. This latest closure left the residents of Teeswater without a store located in town to supply basic groceries and staples, with the only alternatives being big box stores a 15-20 minute drive out of Teeswater. The residents of the town came together and formed a co-operative to buy the building and reopen the grocery store as the River Village Co-op Market in April 2007.

Yellowknife Glass Recyclers Co-operative Ltd : In 1994, Matthew Grogono founded a business that used a recycled washing machine as a converting device to cut bottles, grind rims and polish vessels into useable glassware. Since then, the business has developed a diversified line of products including drinking glasses, vases, bowls and candleholders of various sizes and colours. The patterns are created by local artists and reflect the unique ecology and environment of Northern Canada. The business converted to an employee-owned co-operative in July 2006 to take advantage of the growing popularity of the high-quality glassware and the opening of a glass distribution retail store. Yellowknife Glass Recyclers Co-operative’s ( products are now in many art galleries and gift stores in the Northwest Territories and across Canada. The co-op estimates that since 1994 it has recycled and transformed over 100,000 bottles.

Careforce Home Care Worker Co-operative Ltd : Careforce Home Care Worker Co-operative Ltd. was formed by the workers of Care Force Home Health Care Services Ltd. (Corporation) to purchase the Corporation (a share purchase) from the owner, Lay Yong Tan. A worker co-operative is a form of employee ownership that is incorporated under the Nova Scotia Co-operative Associations Act and seeks to operate according to the International Co-operative Alliance’s Statement on the Co-operative Identity, and co-operative values and principles. The member/employees are personal care workers who work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Staff is involved with meal preparation, house-keeping, personal care, respite care, palliative care, appointments and companionship, and any activities required to maintain individuals comfortably and safely in their own environment. Services are provided from two-to-24 hours per day up to seven days a week, if required.

The Greenhouse Co-operative Ltd : The Greenhouse Co-op is a bedding plant and garden centre that operates as a seasonal business in St. Peter’s, Nova Scotia. The business produces a wide range of bedding plants (flowers and vegetables), hanging baskets, and planters. In addition, it carries a large variety of nursery items: trees, shrubs, soil conditioners, and fertilizers. Three founding members established the Co-op in 1987 as a worker co-op. One founding member was the original owner of the business and another was an employee. Over time, the Co-op’s membership has fluctuated between three and five members with additional non-member employees for part of the growing and selling season.

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