One significant byproduct of the huge wave of retiring baby boomers is that millions of businesses across the U.S. are selling or closing.
According to a Forbes Agency Council article, Sept. 29 2017, some business owners are selling to entrepreneurial millennials. “Experts estimate that millions of baby boomer entrepreneurs will close or sell their business in the next decade,” says author Jason Duff. In Benicia, recently sold businesses span myriad sectors: Insurance, real estate, home improvement, beauty, retail, restaurants and others. Some are sold to employees or passed down to adult children; others are purchased by buyers looking to own their own company.
Each of our local business owners has a story—many owners have been active in the community, serving on boards and commissions, sponsoring sports teams, taking leadership roles in the Benicia Chamber of Commerce or getting involved in local nonprofits. Just last month, Allan Lemone, who turns 70 this month and is a newly minted grandfather, started Affordable Quality Cabinets and Countertops July 1, 1990. He announced in December that he sold the business he has run for 27 years to Trevor Cotarelo, who worked with John Laverty Construction for 15 years.
Allan was drafted into the army on Christmas Eve 1969, spending a year in Vietnam near Saigon, where he spent his 21st birthday. In 1976, Allan and his wife Donnie, who was a Robert Semple teacher for many years, moved to Benicia to raise their family. Allan initially ran the business from his home, and then rented window space in a few locations before purchasing the building at the current location at 4853 East Second Street. Allan, an avid cyclist and member of the Benicia Bicycle Club since 1988, served on the Benicia Parks and Recreation Commission 10 years—one year as chairman—focusing on park development and planning. He also coached Little League and Babe Ruth baseball for 10 years.
Planning how to fill the time retirement provides is a whole other conundrum for boomers, many of whom end up going back to work. Allan has that covered, with trips planned to New York, Nashville and Hawaii. When asked about advice to new retirees, he says, “I’ve had good examples—my best friend retired years ago. He keeps busy doing things around the house, he stays in shape. Make sure you are ready. Friends have told me, ‘You’ll know when you are ready.’ So I’m comfortable with it. Having a new grandchild is a game changer.”