link Mission to Focus on Business' Silver Tsnuami

SANTA CLARA, Calif-- Mission College in Santa Clara in partnership with local small businesses is hosting its first webinar for employees and owners and is focused on succession planning and worked-owned businesses on Tuesday, April 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the college's Facebook Live account. A future webinar in April will focus on internet marketing at a global level.

Owners and employees can RSVP at coop.missioncollege.edu.

Termed the "silver tsunami," local businesses and their owners are getting older with limited plans for the business to continue or for the owner to step back from day-to-day operations and still return their investment. For cities, that could lead to empty storefronts and lost tax revenue.

Successful businesses like REI, California Dairies, Inc., Land O'Lakes, and local credit unions are just some examples of businesses that use a co-op model to be successful. The webinar will discuss this process.

Local pizzeria, A Slice of New York has turned its business into a worker-owned co-op, as well. Founder Kirk Vartan has helped lead these efforts and spearheaded efforts with the City of Santa Clara. The city-funded Worker Cooperative Initiative has evolved into creating "boot camp" type courses for businesses. Some of those ideas revolve around four-week courses or weekly one-off courses on the process of developing a co-op business.

A worker co-op is a business transaction (sale) where employees purchase the business and take part in running it.

Much of the co-op model is democratic in nature. Membership is voluntary and members are involved in decision making. Education is focused on training and being transparent. And finally, the co-op business works together with its employees and the community to be successful. 

Mission College's vision for its small business institute will incorporate not only the co-op model but its pre-existing degrees and classes in business, accounting, graphic design, project management, and training.