RPN Today - S2E1 - Business Transitions
Cooperative businesses are not new to Nebraska. Dozens of cooperatives are spread across the state, from grocery stores to farm and ranch suppliers. And yet, most cooperatives are created because a community or region is missing that type of business. That is what has made the Centennial Marketplace Cooperative, in Utica, a little bit different. Learn more about business and co-op transitions at https://ruralprosperityne.unl.edu/nebraska-cooperative-development-center-helps-utica-keep-its-grocery-store
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[00:00:24.300]are not new to Nebraska.
[00:00:26.250]Dozens of co-operatives are spread across the state
[00:00:29.010]from grocery stores to farm and ranch suppliers,
[00:00:31.980]and yet most co-operatives are created because a community
[00:00:35.100]or region is missing that type of business.
[00:00:37.920]This is what has made
[00:00:38.790]the Centennial Marketplace co-operative in Utica
[00:00:41.760]just a little bit different.
[00:00:43.080]So I got a phone call in August of last year of,
[00:00:47.527]"We wanna talk about this co-operative thing again.
[00:00:49.980]This is how we go through, these are the steps,
[00:00:52.470]this is what you're going to need to do."
[00:00:54.120]And they're like, "We think we can do that."
[00:00:56.490]The Centennial Marketplace
[00:00:57.810]transitioned from an LLC owned by Pac-N-Save in Seward
[00:01:01.710]to a co-operative owned by the residents of Utica
[00:01:04.800]without ever closing its doors.
[00:01:06.810]As far as the customer went,
[00:01:08.910]they didn't really notice any difference,
[00:01:10.470]you know, from the 31st of October
[00:01:13.800]until the 1st of November.
[00:01:16.269]And we opened up at 8:00, just like we always did.
[00:01:20.269]The way that we went about it and not shutting down,
[00:01:22.920]we kind of had to go about it, in our opinion,
[00:01:24.930]a little bit backwards, if you will.
[00:01:27.630]So, our group of 10 investors had to wholeheartedly commit
[00:01:32.400]to opening this store before we really got those 55 members.
[00:01:36.360]So we had to make a lot of decisions
[00:01:39.360]and go into a lot of it,
[00:01:40.950]which would be a little bit different than how
[00:01:43.320]a typical co-operative would've been formed.
[00:01:46.290]Designed by Rural Prosperity Nebraska
[00:01:49.530]the "Business Transition Model" workbook
[00:01:51.600]helps business owners transition their businesses
[00:01:54.510]to other owners, into closure,
[00:01:56.940]or into a different model, such as a co-operative.
[00:02:00.210]Flowcharts help individuals track their progress
[00:02:02.610]along the transition path,
[00:02:04.470]as well as see expected timeframes,
[00:02:06.630]and pros and cons, for each option.
[00:02:09.060]RPN Extension Educator, Cindy Houlden,
[00:02:11.340]used the workbook to help speed the transition
[00:02:13.740]for the Utica store.
[00:02:15.330]So far, that transition has been successful,
[00:02:17.700]but it is still ongoing.
[00:02:19.350]Luckily, being an agriculture community,
[00:02:21.720]co-operatives aren't anything new to us.
[00:02:25.410]So a lot of people really embraced it,
[00:02:27.930]which was great.
[00:02:28.770]Phase two's gonna be their hardest phase.
[00:02:31.230]However, you've got the store,
[00:02:34.140]it's safe, it's secure, it's gonna stay operational.
[00:02:37.050]So now, they just have to get creative.
[00:02:41.760]Still, transitioning the store
[00:02:43.590]instead of closing it down has been a boon for Utica,
[00:02:46.530]and much appreciated by its residents.
[00:02:49.200]This is why we're here.
[00:02:50.033]We chose to live here,
[00:02:51.600]we chose to send kids to school here.
[00:02:54.900]We can't let it die.
[00:02:55.800]It's on us.
[00:02:57.120]And with a co-operative, it is.
[00:02:59.520]It's on us to keep it going.
[00:03:02.970]You know, and so when they're having this conversation
[00:03:06.000]about how to bring the young kids into membership,
[00:03:08.850]they're talking about the future of their community.
[00:03:11.430]And so, you know, this is our legacy
[00:03:13.560]so that Utica goes on beyond us.
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