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BizBen Index: Sales Of California Small Businesses Grows Through 3rd Quarter

A total of 11,579 small and midsized California business for sale deals were concluded in the first three quarters of 2014, the best performance in the market since 2008, when the mortgage meltdown first impacted the state's business for sale market. The sales information, released by BizBen Index, showed mixed results by county, with improvement in the rate of deals in some of the state's largest counties, and a decline in others.The sum of businesses sold through September last year was 11,166, resulting in year-to-year growth in sales of about 3.7% so far in 2014.

Sales growth is partly the result of easier access to the money buyers need to borrow in order to complete their deals. In addition to more co-operation from financial institutions asked to provide purchase money loans, sellers are increasingly willing to help finance the acquisition of their businesses by lowering their down payment requirements. We've seen a rise in the incidence and the amount of seller carry-backs, in which sellers take some of the purchase price in the form of a promissory note to be paid off by the buyer in periodic installments.

Los Angeles County saw an increase in deals to 381 last month, about 3.7% ahead of the 339 transactions recorded in September 2013. By contrast, declines were recorded in Orange and San Diego Counties where 131 and 107 deals closed escrow last month, respectively. Orange County's deal count was 142 in September last year, while San Diego County posted 125 deals that month.

Northern California sales were led by Santa Clara County with 60 deals last month, vs. 49 transactions completed in September 2013. But San Francisco posted 31 sales of small businesses last month, down by more than 35% compared to the 48 deals completed during the same month last year. And Sacramento County saw an increase of nearly 42%, with 44 deals last month compared to 31 transactions closed the same month of last year.

The count of September 2014 sales of small businesses, by county, found at is:

Alameda: 48, Amador: 4, Benton: 2, Butte: 14, Clark: 1, Contra Costa: 32, El Dorado: 5, Fresno: 37, Glenn: 1, Imperial: 2, Jefferson: 1, Kern: 21, Lassen: 1, Los Angeles: 381, Marin: 1, Merced: 6, Mono: 1, Monterey: 12, Napa: 7, Nevada: 4, Orange: 131, Placer: 10, Riverside: 55, Sacramento: 44, San Bernardino: 67, San Diego: 107, San Francisco: 31, San Joaquin: 14, San Luis Obispo: 18, San Mateo: 31, Santa Barbara: 12, Santa Clara: 60, Santa Cruz: 5, Shasta: 5, Solano: 16, Sonoma: 13, Stanislaus: 17, Sutter: 3, Tehama: 1, Tulare: 16, Tuolumne: 1, Ventura: 38, Yolo: 12.

Sales statistics by city and county throughout the state for the past ten years are accessed at

The BizBen Index has been collecting and reporting information about small California business sales for 17 years, to help business owners/sellers, buyers and the professionals participating in this market make informed choices and achieve success.

About This Contributor: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder & Senior Advisor (ProBuy & ProSell Programs) at (established 1994, 8000+ California businesses for sale, 500 new & refreshed postings/posts daily) working with business buyers, small business owners/sellers, business brokers, agents, investors, and advisors). Reach him direct at 925-785-3118 to discuss strategies regarding buying, selling, (or financing a puchase of) California businesses.

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