More Entrepreneurs Purchase A Small Business In California In February

The number of deals to purchase a business in California showed modest improvement last month over sales of small and mid-market businesses during the same month a year ago, suggesting continued growth is taking hold in the market. Some 1,002 escrows closed during the month, compared to 959 concluded transactions in February 2009.

So far, this looks like the slow and steady improvement we’ve been anticipating. Conditions for sales activity aren't improving in any meaningful way. To a great extent it’s the resourcefulness of California’s entrepreneurs that has been responsible for this growth.

People who want to purchase a business still are having trouble getting lenders to help them fund deals. And the mood of uncertainty is casting its shadow on the small business sales market, just as it influences the stock market, the real estate business and other key sectors of the economy.

But rather than sitting on their hands and waiting for all the lights to turn green, a lot of buyers and sellers are finding ways to put deals together. We’ve seen an increase in seller financing, more earn out agreements and some other approaches that entrepreneurs are employing to accomplish their goals.

Many of the state’s largest counties recorded higher sales of small businesses, including Los Angeles with a 10% increase in transactions last month (268) compared to last February (242), San Bernardino where deal volume jumped a whopping 75% (from 29 to 51), and San Francisco, with a 40% increase (from 30 to 42.)

Deal volume in Orange and San Diego Counties remained about the same and Sacramento County showed a decline of about 39% (31 sales in February 2009 vs. 19 last month). Some 94 deals were completed in Orange County in the just-completed month, two more than last February. San Diego County recorded 100 transactions in February 2010, one more than the same 2009 month.

The statistics we’ve compiled also show that sales rate for small and mid-sized business last month was roughly equal to activity in January, on a closings-per-day basis. While 72 more people were willing and able to purchase a business during the first month of the year compared to last month, there was an extra business day in January to account for the difference. has been matching people planning to sell or to purchase a business since 1994 and for the past 12 years has furnished all interested participants in the market with monthly sales data.

February sales results by California County are accessed at and are as follows:

Alameda: 46, Butte: 9, Calaveras: 4, Contra Costa: 29, El Dorado: 3, Fresno: 29, Glenn: 1, Humboldt: 1, Imperial: 5, Kern: 21, Kings: 1, Lassen: 3, Los Angeles: 268, Madera: 1, Marin: 6, Mendocino: 2, Merced: 6, Monterey: 10, Napa: 4, Nevada: 1, Orange: 94, Placer: 8, Riverside: 20, Sacramento: 19, San Bernardino: 51, San Diego: 100, San Francisco: 42, San Joaquin: 17, San Luis Obispo: 11, San Mateo: 17, Santa Barbara: 13, Santa Clara: 52, Santa Cruz: 20, Shasta: 3, Siskiyou: 1, Solano: 8, Sonoma: 18, Stanislaus: 13, Tehama: 2, Tulare: 14, Tuolumne: 3, Ventura: 22, Yolo: 4.

About the Author: Founder and CEO of, Peter Siegel, MBA has been consulting with business owners, business buyers, business brokers & agents for over 25 years who plan to sell or purchase a small to mid-sized business. Peter Siegel can be reached direct at 925-785-3118.

Categories: BizBen Blog Contributor, Business For Sale Statistics

  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
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.

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.

Shalonda Chappel: 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.

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.

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.

William F. Ziprick, Attorney: Legal Services For Buyers And Sellers

Through creative problem solving, attention to detail, accessibility, & understanding that unnecessary delay is often a deal killer, I work closely with my clients and other professionals to consistently achieve a high rate of closings. Office: 909-255-8353, Cell: 509-951-7230.

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.

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