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Rural Grocery Initiative

Rural Grocery Specialist Certificate

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The Rural Grocery Initiative sees the need to support rural grocers in business transition planning as essential to keeping the benefits of hometown grocery stores in rural communities. The Rural Grocery Specialist Certificate Program will train and deploy resource professionals across the country to better serve rural grocers through business transitions.

  • What: An online certificate program to train resource providers to better support rural grocers through business transition. This project is supported by a grant from the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development.

  • Who: Extension professionals, economic developers and other resource providers who support rural grocers and rural community vitality across the country. 

  • Format: Seven online modules covering key topics to support rural grocers through business transition.  
Rural Grocery Specialist Certificate Format

The certificate includes seven self-paced online modules covering key topics for supporting rural grocers through business transition. Each module consists of between 5 and 10 video lessons led by subject matter experts from across the country. This certificate program is offered entirely remotely with one synchronous kickoff session and is designed to be completed over a 3-month period.

  1. Assessment of Grocery Attitudes & Relationship Building
  2. Transition Planning Fundamentals
  3. Business Valuation Fundamentals
  4. Communicating About Transition
  5. Finding New Ownership
  6. Buyer Funding and Hiring a Manager
  7. Into the Future and Additional Resources

Certificate Development Timeline:
  • August to November 2022:  Curriculum Development
  • December 2022 to March 2023:  Recording video lessons and developing online modules
  • April 2023 to June 2023:  Offer Pilot Program - available to a select number of Extension Professionals in the North-Central Region
  • Fall 2023:  Public Launch 

This curriculum development project is funded by North Central Regional Center for Rural Development through their Small Grants program.