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Last Month Set Year's Record for Business Sales

We've just completed the busiest month so far this year for the sales of small and mid-sized businesses. Some 1,298 transactions were closed, up about 21% from the 1,075 deals completed during July 2009. And it was an improvement over the 1,090 business for sale transactions finalized in June 2010.

This news is positive, but before we interpret it as a clear signal that the market is starting to boom--after a disappointing seven months compared to past years--we need to be aware that several deals scheduled for June 2010 closings actually were completed last month. Some of the principals and brokers were on vacation during June, or were not prepared to close when originally scheduled.

Meanwhile, it’s encouraging to notice that buyers and sellers and their business brokers are finding ways to overcome one of the biggest impediments to strong sales--the reluctance of community banks in this area to provide the funds needed by buyers and sellers to complete deals. One of the solutions is that sellers are, in a growing number of situations, becoming the bank so they can complete their deals. In some cases sellers are taking lower prices and offering very generous terms initially, with the understanding, as part of the deal, that they’ll benefit with bonuses as the business improves in the future.

Many of the state's large counties recorded higher sales numbers last month compared to July 2009. Los Angeles County entrepreneurs finalized 352 transactions in July, up from the 312 deals completed in the same period last year. Sales in Santa Clara County hit 77 in July 2010. That’s a boost of 79% over the 34 deals closed in July 2009. San Francisco recorded 61 business opportunities sales last month, a jump of about 33% from the 46 transactions closed in July 2009. And Sacramento County’s figures were up by the same percentage, 45 vs. 34 deals in July last year.

A small decline was recorded in San Diego County--92 deals last month and 96 in July of last year, and Orange County saw a drop of 11%, from 126 deals to 112.

July sales results by California county (available at are as follows:

Alameda: 55, Amador: 4, Butte: 5, Calaveras: 1, Contra Costa: 20, El Dorado: 5, Fresno: 34, Humboldt: 1, Imperial: 1, Kern: 30, Lassen: 1, Los Angeles: 352, Madera: 1, Marin: 12, Merced: 7, Monterey: 20, Napa: 18, Nevada: 3, Orange: 112, Placer: 10, Riverside: 45, Sacramento: 45, San Bernardino: 54, San Diego: 92, San Francisco: 61, San Joaquin: 23, San Luis Obispo: 11, San Mateo: 24, Santa Barbara: 27, Santa Clara: 77, Santa Cruz: 4, Shasta: 10, Siskiyou: 1, Solano: 10, Sonoma: 28, Stanislaus: 18, Sutter: 5, Tehama: 4, Tulare: 22, Tuolumne: 4, Ventura: 32, Yolo: 7, Yuba: 2

About The Author:  Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder and President of He is a SBA SCORE Counselor, author, consultant/coach, and advocate on the topic of buying and selling small to mid-sized businesses in the California marketplace. Having writen three books and hundreds of publication articles he has assisted small business owners/sellers, business brokers, agents, and business buyers for over 25 years. For a FREE consultation on how to best sell or buy a California small business phone him direct at 925-785-3118.

Categories: Business For Sale Statistics

  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Janet Carrera: Escrow & Bulk Sale Service - 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.

Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - San Francisco 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.

Brad Steinberg, Business Broker: Laundromat Specialist

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.

Helen Yoo, New Century Escrow - Escrow Services In 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.

Shalonda Chappel-Pilgram: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

Escrow services to brokers/agents, sellers, & buyers. Established 43 years. Extraordinary service. Experienced with handling difficult transactions. One stop for all your escrow needs: Bulk sales, lien searches, UCC searches, liquor license transfers, publishing & recording services. 951-808-3972.

Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence

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.

Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - CA

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.

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