BizLink North website is now available for business buyers and sellers

Sibley County Community Development is partnering with Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Mankato and Minnesota State University – Mankato on a business succession project called BizLink North (bizlinknorth.com).  The goal of this project is to support the vitality of local communities by acting as facilitator for the transition of business ownership. 

Bizlinknorth.com is a website for supporting rural communities in the Upper Midwest through linking prospective buyers of businesses with established retiring business owners who lack succession planning.  SBDC intern Nathaniel Tucek refers to the website as a “Craigslist” for businesses.  Bizlinknorth.com links aspiring entrepreneurs with retiring business owners which allows both parties to achieve their goals, entrepreneurs begin building a business and retiring business owners are able to sell.  When businesses are sold to new owners the community also wins because the community keeps the business, services, jobs, and tax base.

The group received a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture and also Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation to pursue the website and consulting services for rural businesses.  Sibley County will serve as the pilot site for the program and is looking for businesses to list on the website.  Sellers fill out a form and provide information on the business, number of employees, sales history, etc.  All information is kept confidential and will be used to assist BizLink North consultants with onboarding the business listing. Listing your business on the website and consulting services are free. 

There is also a section on the website for prospective buyers which will ask respondents to answer questions about buyers’ qualifications to run a business and how they plan to finance the purchase of the business.  Consultants will work with prospective buyers to help with a business plan and financing. 

All negotiations between the owner and potential buyer will be conducted privately between themselves with BizLink North acting as a venue for communication.  BizLink North will provide guideline valuation of the business to help begin negotiation between business owner and potential buyer.  BizLink North does not represent either party exclusively as it as a facilitator of the transaction.  All of the BizLink North functions and activities are free and there is no obligation for any payment whatsoever for any services provided.  It is our sole purpose to facilitate the transition from retiring business owners to potential buyers. 

Presentations in Sibley County by Mike Hahn, SBDC Regional Director, are planned for this fall.  Please contact Mike at Mike.Hahn.mnsu.edu or Sibley County Community Development Director Amy Newsom at AmyN@co.sibley.mn.us or 507-237-4117 for more information.