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Exiting a business presents owner with critical decisions

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When the owner of a small business wants to move on, whether to retire or to pursue other ventures, he or she has three potential paths: close the business, sell it to investors or to a competitor or let the employees purchase it.
Each option has consequences for a community that relies on local businesses for jobs and revenue generation.
Stephen Wiman, former owner of Good Water Company in Santa Fe, never considered closing the independent water company he purchased in 2005 when he exited the company 11 years later.
“I wanted the business to continue,” he said, “because it did a lot of good work in the community. I spent probably half my time doing volunteer work in water conservation and supporting causes in which I believed. I got close to a lot of customers who had really complex water and could afford what was actually very expensive treatment.”
He also cared about the well-being of his employees. “I wanted to keep my employees working, as they were loyal to me and helped us establish a good reputation in the community.”


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