Chamber Launches Program to Aid Businesses in Succession Planning

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Regional Chamber Foundation and private equity firm ScaleCo have teamed up to aid family-owned businesses during transitional periods.

The Family-Owned Business Program will begin in June. Presented in coordination with Huntington Bank and HBK CPAs and Consultants, it will include quarterly chats and will culminate with a recognition dinner. 

The program is designed to help family businesses in all industries with succession planning, including maximizing value, understanding tax implications and other aspects of the transition between generations.

“Every business goes through a transition. ScaleCo is focused on growing businesses and is thrilled to partner with the chamber in supporting family-owned businesses,” said ScaleCo vice president Wiley Runnestrand in a statement. “Helping Valley businesses transition on their terms with full knowledge of the options is a fundamental part of ScaleCo’s mission.”

Keeping local businesses local after transition is another goal, according to Guy Coviello, president and CEO of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

“One of the biggest drains on the local economy is the loss of our family-owned businesses,” Coviello said. “The chamber, ScaleCo, Huntington and HBK all have a vested interest in protecting the Valley’s future, so one area of focus is keeping locally owned businesses here after transition in ownership.”

The quarterly chats begin June 24 at HBK’s corporate office in Canfield with “Succession Planning: Begin Thinking About the Sale.” While the in-person chat and cocktail reception will be by invitation only, there will also be a livestream option for others who would like to participate.

Future topics will include “Understanding the Value of Your Business: Getting the Best Sale Price” and “Succession Planning: Understanding Tax Changes.” Details about these programs and the recognition dinner will be forthcoming.

“Successful transition can result in productive careers for the next generation and a charitable legacy in the community. Given the stakes, planning should begin several years in advance of an owner’s departure,” said Huntington regional president William Shivers. “The reputation of their business, the goodwill they’ve grown, their workforce and their families depend on the company’s long-term viability and succession. Our job is to help Valley businesses prepare for their future and plan for the unexpected.”

HBK client engagement director Carl Greenaway agrees. “It’s never too early to start planning,” Greenaway said. “As a national accounting firm headquartered in the Valley, we want to assist our local business owners in any way we can. The Valley is our home, and we take great pride in its success.”

Additional support for the program is being provided by Lordstown Energy Center and the DeBartolo Corp.

For information, contact Shea MacMillan, the Regional Chamber’s director of economic development projects, at 330 744 2131 ext. 1101, or

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.