At Love Small Town America, we consider ourselves matchmakers of a sort. We match businesses with employees via our job listings, we match potential citizens with new hometowns, and we match tourists with communities full of attractions that suit them to a tee. So, we were interested to learn of another matchmaking enterprise in our home state of Kansas.
When small town business owners age, they often shut the doors, taking with them the assets, experience, and wealth that business represented in the community. There are many reasons why this happens – but a lot of it comes down to basic economics – supply and demand. A new program called RedTire has been launched by the University of Kansas to offer one possible solution.
The RedTire program promotes their service as allowing business owners to redefine their retirement. The program matches rural business owners seeking an exit strategy with graduates from Kansas universities.
Candidates from both sides – businesses and potential successors – apply through the RedTire website or are referred to the program by third parties.
Ideally, the end result will be contract negotiations between successors and current owners to purchase existing businesses or make other arrangements to transition ownership.
The program is free and aims to help Kansas communities create transition opportunities to keep businesses alive and thriving. RedTire is new, so there aren’t any results to share, but there are an increasing number of attempts across the country to address this issue. We’ll be watching to see how RedTire progresses – so check back for an update!
We can’t help but think what an interesting complement this program – or something like it – provides for the Rural Opportunity Zone program. Theoretically, someone could move to a ROZ county, gaining access to tax credits and tuition reimbursement and possibly also create their own job by buying a business by engaging with RedTire – making the kinds of initiatives that are popping up across the state even more powerful. The future is taking shape before our eyes and there are definitely some interesting possibilities on the horizon.
What do you think? Is RedTire the kind of program that could make a difference?
Interested in applying?
RedTire Contact Information:
Lawrence, Kansas 66045
Lawrence, Kansas 66045