« on: December 23, 2015, 10:42:04 AM »
I have been a small business owner since 1990. In those 25 years we enjoyed a steady growth to where I have made a pretty good living the past 15 or so years. It has not come without sacrifices. I worked 10-12 hours a day during the week and almost every Saturday. My salary would have put me below poverty and many months I'd write out my check and stick it in my drawer until the business had enough in the bank to cash it (thank God for my wife!). I'm sure many of the craft brewer have owners with a similar story.
When I was in my late 50s I started to think about an exit plan as I wanted to do things that I didn't have time to do. Finding some one to sell the business to was a task that took several years. It's not that easy to find some one who has the money (or has access to it) and willing to work more than 40 hours a week with no benefits. A couple years ago I was fortunate enough to find a young man who is now half owner and soon to be, hopefully, full owner. As a result I will have a better retirement.
Do I like it that InBev is buying up craft breweries? Absolutely not. However I do understand owners needing an exit plan. If the owner wanted to retire, what does he do, just close the doors?? I wouldn't call that greed at all, greed is what Uncle Sugar is going to take from the sale.
The attorney that I used to facilitate the sale used to say that there are three times when a business is sold, when you WANT to sell, when you HAVE to sell and when your heirs sell it. Two of them are not good.