Dean and Roseanne Beers are retired and loving it.
The long-time owners of Orillia’s Floor Fashion Centre handed over the keys to the kingdom to former store manager, Nicole Smith, on Jan. 1, 2022. With the help of the Orillia Area CDC, the transition has been seamless and practically painless.
“My wife and I were starting to think, we had been in business almost 30 years, that we wanted to make a change. Our staff knew that all along, we never kept that a secret, and it was always a positive thing. So, during that time, near the beginning of the pandemic, we had one of our newer staff, Nicole Smith, show some interest. That started the conversation with us,” explains Beers.
At that same time, Dean and Roseanne had some conversations with Carol Benedetti of the BizLink program at the Orillia Area CDC. The BizLink program helps to connect business buyers and sellers within our region and is supported by a grant from The Ontario Trillium Foundation.
“We had some great conversations with Carol, she was just awesome and talked to us about how the process worked," said Beers. "Because we knew the flooring industry but we certainly didn’t know much about selling a business or how that process worked. So that started the journey for us.”
For Smith, the staff at the CDC were invaluable as well.
“Susan Stacey and I spoke often, and she provided a huge amount of support and guidance,” says Smith. “Susan was able to bring matters to my attention that I may have overlooked. I was also able to secure a business loan from the CDC and once I purchased the business, I continued to use the Pathways to Employment Program with our warehouse manager position.”
Beers put Smith in the store manager role at the business early on in the transition process, so she could develop a feel for what that was like, and be able to develop the skills needed to take ownership.
Further training and many more conversations were had, and lawyers and accountants were brought in to do everything that needed to be done to ensure a smooth transition for the Beers and Smith.
“It’s not an easy thing to do, but by the same token it was almost enjoyable with respect to Carol’s help and the other professionals we brought in," said Beers. "So that process, it was challenging, but it certainly wasn’t painful.”
Of course, the Beers are not leaving any time soon. There was a four-month overlap consultation period built into the sale, but Beers is happy to be available any time if Smith has any questions.
“We will still continue to help her, we want to see the business succeed. We also were able to keep the building, so Nicole is leasing it from us, and we will see to the upkeep and maintenance of it, and the lease payments will help us in our retirement," said Beers.
“I am very thankful to have been able to run a business in Orillia. I think sometimes we don’t appreciate enough how great Orillia is. Orillia has supported us for 30 years, and I get a little emotional thinking about that. My career in the flooring industry may be done, but I certainly want to continue to give back to our community and I so appreciate what they have done for us for so many years," said Beers.
Smith adds, “It has definitely been a very busy time for myself over the last two years but I’m feeling really great about the transition. As with any business with new ownership, there were some unexpected challenges but overall the transition went smoothly, thanks to all the help we received from the Orillia Area CDC staff.
"I think Orillia’s Floor Fashion Carpet One is going to continue to grow and adapt to the challenges that all businesses are faced with today, while continuing to offer the best customer service, design advice, and flooring knowledge to our valued customers," said Smith.
To learn more about Orillia’s Floor Fashion Centre, visit www.orilliasfloorfashioncarpetone.com or call 705-300-0453.
For more information on the Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) visit www.orilliacdc.com or contact 705-325-4903, extension 101.
(Special thanks to the project funder, The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). OTF is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.)