Employee to Owner During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The corona-virus pandemic has severely crippled the hospitality and food industries. While struggling to stay afloat financially, many small businesses have relied on their various loyal customer bases.
Offering take-out options has been an essential tool for these industries to maintain their cash-flows, until the public can gather once again and enjoy all the culinary options Syracuse has to offer. Hope seems nearly here as New York slowly re-opens in a strategically phased approach.
Courtney Hourigan has been an employee of MoonDance Restaurant & Tavern for the past 11 years. She began working there at the age of 18, and she has learned every facet of the business over the past decade. When the current owner, Frank Mincolla, was ready to sell the business and move into retirement, Courtney saw her opportunity. But she had no idea how she would proceed with the purchase, or even where to start.
After searching online, Courtney found the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and started to work with Certified Business Advisor, Keyona Kelly in 2018. “Keyona was great from the very beginning. She gave us really simple, easy examples and instructions that laid out the steps for us to take in order for us to start buying a business. She (Keyona Kelly) led us to the legal, CPA and insurance professionals we needed for the purchase to get us on the right path to where we are today.” Keyona worked with Courtney and her husband to develop a business plan and financial projections. She helped them understand the profitability and assess the value of the business before pursuing the purchase.
Courtney and her husband closed on the business April 15th, 2020 in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “In my eyes, it was the perfect opportunity to watch my dreams fall into place. We are taking this time to get some remodeling and updating done, while planning for reopening under the new social distancing protocols.”
The purchase of the business was a combination of lender and owner financing of the 1876 sq. ft. location in Marcellus, NY. By purchasing this business Courtney and her husband have been able to save the jobs of 11 employees, and they plan to add 2 more positions once MoonDance Restaurant & Tavern fully re-opens.
Article published in the 'The Central New York Business Journal' on July 20, 2020
Keyona Kelly is a certified business advisor at the Small Business Development Center located at Onondaga Community College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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