The Small Business Development Center at Minnesota State University- Mankato has been awarded a nearly 40-thousand dollar grant to pilot a program aimed at business succession in Sibley County.

Minnesota State University- Mankato Small Business Development Center Regional Director Mike Hahn.

“This is part of a USDA grant. Everything will start around October 1. We work through the Federal fiscal year, so we will work from October 1 through September 30 of next year,” says Regional Director Mike Hahn.

A series of events will be put on by the Small Business Development Center in Sibley County to focus on the sale of an existing business by an owner who is considering retiring or exiting from an enterprise.

“There’s a lot of smaller communities that still maintain their main street presence, and once those services are lost, if they are lost, as far as trying to find a replacement manager or replacement owner for those businesses, it can have a severe impact and a negative impact economically on the community.”

With the extra funding in hand from the USDA, Hahn says they can help change the issue by providing the program that will focus on educating prospective sellers and buyers, marking and promotions and how to match a buyer and seller.

“Work with those folks, promote the business opportunities there are in Sibley County and see what we can do to bring prospective replacement sellers, along with buyers together. Try to work with them as far as developing a deal that will allow that business to sustain into the future.”

The program is free of charge and is also open to those residing outside of Sibley County.

MSU’s Small Business Development Center serves a nine-county area, which includes Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca and Watonwan counties.