Despite March Dip, Business Opportunity Sales Lead 2009

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Sales activity in California’s business opportunity marketplace this year shows improvement over the first quarter of 2009. Closings last month, however, lagged 14% behind March of last year. Interruptions in the lending stream are part of the cause.

That’s why the spigot is on, then off, then on again.

The count of small and mid-sized business opportunity deals concluded in California last month declined by 14% compared to the sales recorded last March, but totals still are ahead for the year, according to an announcement by BizBen.com--the online marketplace for business offerings and resources.

With 1,163 completed transactions throughout the state in March, the 2010 total reached 3,239, compared to the 3,180 closed business escrows in the first quarter of 2009. A total of 1,356 deals were recorded in March of last year.

“We’re watching a recovery, but it’s a rocky one, much like the housing market and consumer spending numbers that vary month to month,” according to Peter Siegel, MBA, founder and CEO of BizBen.com, which tracks and reports monthly on California’s small business deals.

“Part of the problem relates to interruptions in the availability of borrowed money needed to help fund business opportunity transactions,” said Siegel. He explained that the popular incentives the SBA put in place early last year have been helpful in getting lenders to provide financing, and getting borrowers to apply.

“But the SBA keeps running out of the money it needs to maintain the program and it has to go back to Congress for more.

“That’s why the spigot is on, then off, then on again.”

The state’s largest counties recorded reduced sales last month compared with the previous March. Those declines range from the 10% drop in Orange County (from 123 deals in March 2009 to 111 last month), to a substantial slowdown in San Francisco, which registered half as many business opportunity sales in March 2010 (22) as were completed a year earlier.

One large California county with good news was Riverside, which posted 54 completed deals last month, more than double the 22 closed escrows recorded in the same month last year.

Los Angeles County’s March deals were down 18% to 306 from 373 last March. San Diego County closings dipped 28% (144 to 104) and Sacramento County saw a decline (52 in March 2009, to 39 in March 2010.)

The BizBen.com site has been matching people interested in selling and buying businesses since 1994, and has compiled and reported the month’s sales statistics, by city and by county for the past 12 years. Additionally, the site provides ideas, news and a blog page for entrepreneurs planning to sell or purchase a business opportunity, and the business brokers as well as the other professionals who serve them.

March 2010 sales results by California County (available at http://www.bizben.com/stats/stats-monthly-mar.php) are as follows:

Alameda: 61, Amador: 1, Butte: 8, Calaveras: 3, Contra Costa: 23, El Dorado: 5, Fresno: 36, Humboldt: 2, Imperial: 3, Kern: 29, Kings: 1, Los Angeles: 306, Madera: 1, Marin: 9, Merced: 6, Mono: 1, Monterey: 14, Napa: 4, Orange: 111, Placer: 6, Riverside: 54, Sacramento: 39, San Bernardino: 67, San Diego: 104, San Francisco: 22, San Joaquin: 12, San Luis Obispo: 9, San Mateo: 10, Santa Barbara: 14, Santa Clara: 59, Santa Cruz: 16, Shasta: 11, Solano: 12, Sonoma: 22, Stanislaus: 23, Sutter: 1, Tehama: 5, Tulare: 12, Ventura: 32, Yolo: 9

For more information:
Contact: Peter Siegel
Phone: (866) 270-6278

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