Although there is encouraging news about sales activity involving small and mid-sized businesses for sale in California--deals were up last month by about 2.5% compared to the closed escrows rate of November 2009--we’re not seeing consistent growth in activity on a month-to-month basis. Last month sales declined by about 29% to 978 deals from the total of 1,384 completed transactions recorded in October, the busiest month this year.
Sales activity started out pretty strong last month but there were very few escrow closings scheduled for the last week because of the Thanksgiving Holiday.
The count of completed deals was down in most of the state’s largest counties, with 213 transactions in Los Angeles County last month compared to 268 in November 2009 and 385 in October of this year. A total of 91 sales concluded in Orange County last month was a decline from 97 in November a year ago, and the county’s year high of 128 in October 2010. Last month’s totals in San Diego County (79) and in San Francisco (37) also were lower than the figures for the previous month and for November of last year. Sacramento County was an exception, with 42 sales last month, compared to 28 in November 2009 and 26 in October.
It may be several months before we see sales activity returning to levels that were recorded before the economic downturn referred to as the Great Recession. And yet I am reminded daily of the resourcefulness of California’s entrepreneurs, whether they are buyers, sellers or intermediaries. It appears more sellers are agreeing to help finance, and there is an increase in earn-out types of transactions. These are deals that allow the buyer to get in a business at the current--depressed--value, in return for an agreement to share the growth with the seller as the business improves along with a recovering economy.
Among the bright spots in our industry are the efforts by the SBA to encourage lending to small businesses for expansion and to help fund business sales. The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act passed by Congress last year is making more money available to the SBA so it can back lenders up with loan guarantees up to 90%.
The BizBen Index November 2010 report on the sale of small businesses in California, by county, (available at http://www.bizben.com/stats/stats-monthly-nov.php) is as follows:
Alameda: 64, Amador: 3, Butte: 7, Contra Costa: 25, El Dorado: 6, Fresno: 31, Imperial: 1, Kern: 31, Los Angeles: 213, Madera: 1, Merced: 7, Monterey: 15, Napa: 2, Nevada: 4, Orange: 91, Placer: 14, Riverside: 41, Sacramento: 42, San Bernardino: 42, San Diego: 79, San Francisco: 37, San Joaquin: 17, San Luis Obispo: 4, San Mateo: 14, Santa Barbara: 20, Santa Clara: 51, Santa Cruz: 4, Shasta: 8, Solano: 17, Sonoma: 20, Stanislaus: 9, Sutter: 7, Tehama: 1, Tulare: 11, Tuolumne: 2, Ventura: 26, Yolo: 11.
About the Author: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder of www.BizBen.com (established 1994 - 7000+ California businesses for sale, 200 new listings daily) and the Director of the BizBen Network (16,000 business buyers, 4,000 small business owners, 1,800 California business brokers & agents). He consults daily with business buyers, business owners, small business advisors, business brokers and agents on selling and buying California small businesses. He is also the author of three books on the topic of how to buy and sell California small to mid-sized companies. For a FREE consultation on the best way to buy or sell a California business, phone Peter Siegel direct at 866-270-6278.
|Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses|
|Ranvir S. Sandhu, Esq. - Legal Services For Buyers And Sellers
I've worked at top Bay Area law firms and have extensive experience with business entity formation, mergers, dissolutions, conversions, employment matters, including experience in reviewing and negotiating transactional documents such as leases and purchase agreements.
|Helen Yoo: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California
New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.
|Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow And Bulk Sale Services
California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.
|Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services
Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.
|Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - SF Bay Area
McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.
|Mark Chatow, Esq.: Legal Services For Buying, Selling Businesses
Mark has a broad range of small business purchase & sale experience from analyzing potential acquisition targets to successfully guiding buyers and sellers through the purchase & sale of small businesses. Mark can assist with contracts, negotiations, legal matters, etc. Reach Mark at 949-478-8393.
|Brad Steinberg, Broker - Laundromat Specialists
PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.
|Janet Carrera - Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - SF Bay Area
Redwood Escrow Services, Inc. is a full service, licensed independent escrow company. We are EAFC Fidelity bonded, fully insured & licensed with the Department of Corporations. Committed to offering our clients the most comprehensive variety of escrow services available. Phone Janet at 510-247-0741.
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