Proposal for local investment group made to Moosomin Chamber of Commerce

·5 min read

An investment group proposal was made to the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce during their March 23 meeting.

The proposal, made by Tyler Thorn, proposed the idea of a committee that will see businesses work together to finance new business ideas and help bring more businesses to Moosomin.

“This concept is putting together a group of individuals who share the same belief that having strong local businesses is important, looking at a number of different opportunities to strengthen and grow our local business community and working closely with organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Committee to help bring some of those concepts to reality.

“In a lot of cases what it takes, to be blunt, is the money. It does take some money to get these things happening, and I think that’s probably the biggest thing this group brings to the table,” Thorn explained.

One goal of the group would be to help ensure local businesses stay in town by providing investment and guidance when it comes time to sell.

“Providing a resource for business owners who are in a position to exit their business. Whether they’re in a position where they’re thinking about retirement or thinking about selling their business, as a business community we want to make sure that business stays in town, those jobs stay in town. The last thing we want is to see that guy liquidate his inventory and lock his doors and we have an empty building.”

“I think we can bring some resources there to help people in that position. In a number of ways it could be to help find a new owner or a new buyer for that business. It might be to help them find a successor to put into that business and bring that person along for a couple of years and provide some mentorship to help them learn how to run the business. And also, the money. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of investment.

“Along the same lines we would be involved in trying to retain local ownership in those businesses if somebody is ready to retire. Absentee owners are going to happen in this day and age, it’s just the way of the world. The one advantage of keeping ownership local is you still have the jobs, you still have the business and you still have the products and services offered. But if the owner isn’t here the profits leave town. Those profits don’t get invested because the owner is not here spending money.

“If we can keep local ownership, great. We do also realize that is not always possible.”

Additionally, Thorn explained that the group would provide assistance to local businesses that are thinking about expanding their services.

“Secondly, if an existing business has the opportunity to expand the product or service they’re offering, they may need a little help to do that. Again that could be some investment, maybe they need a bigger building or just need some help with that real estate. Maybe they need a little investment to get that product to market or maybe they need some advice to get that product to market. We would have some resources to assist with that type of growth.”

The final example that Thorn shared was their intent to bring new businesses to town.

Thorn noted that this was seen earlier this year when the Economic Development Committees Greg Gillespi brought audiologists to Moosomin.

“Thirdly would be looking for potential new businesses to come to town. So if we have a need for a product or service locally, we will explore those opportunities. I believe that any time an individual has to leave town for anything, whether it’s a product or a service, their money goes with them.

“When people leave town, their money goes with them. So if we can keep people here whether it’s for a product or a service, their money is going to stay here as well. Plus we’re going to bring in some traffic from the surrounding area because we now offer things like, for an example, sleep aid in Moosomin so they don’t have to go to Regina.”

One of the key goals of the proposition is to help bring new jobs to Moosomin which will attract more buyers and property owners.

“Obviously creating jobs is pretty key to all of our businesses, so the more jobs we have in town the better it is for our businesses.

“There are two schools of thought, we can attract new industry to the area which brings 30, 40, or 50 jobs with them, which is something we absolutely should be on the lookout for, but we can also create 50 new jobs if every business in town was busy enough that we had to hire one more person. We can create 50 new jobs by expanding the businesses that we have.”

Thorn says that while it may seem like spending money is the opposite of what a business may want, it helps strengthen them through investment.

“The healthier your business is the more valuable it is when the time comes for you to sell and retire. For many of us small business owners, that is our retirement we’re working in every day. So we want to work to build as much value on the business every day. Sometimes that requires building the community around you and not just your own business.

“The money is the easy part to get put together, but the biggest hurdle is the people.”

Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator