San Mateo County Has Most Small Business For Sale Deals in Four Years

"The county’s buyers and sellers are becoming more resourceful."


The sale of 22 small and mid-sized businesses in San Mateo County last month not only marked the best December results in four years, but brought the total number of transactions to 311 for 2012, also a four-year county record, it was announced by the BizBen Index over the weekend.

“San Mateo County’s improvement in business sales helped California reach its highest small business transfer rate in four years,” said Peter Siegel, MBA, Founder and President of BizBen.com, parent of the BizBen Index. There were 14,368 business transfers in the state last year, with a 1,322 total in December 2012.

Among the reasons for the increases in the count of successfully completed San Mateo County business sales, according to Siegel, are “The county’s buyers and sellers are becoming more resourceful. They’re learning how to overcome many of the obstacles that have reduced activity in the business-for-sale marketplace since 2009. That’s when the recession negatively impacted the volume of business transactions in California as well as in the rest of the country.”

The BizBen Index shows that the City of San Mateo registered seven business sales last month. And there were four deals each in Pacifica, San Bruno, San Carlos and South San Francisco.

Sales results for the county in 2012 are: Burlingame: 31, Daly City: 20, Foster City: 10, Pacifica: 10, Redwood City: 54, San Mateo: 64, South San Francisco: 24, Millbrae: 13, San Francisco: 2, Colma: 4, Half Moon Bay: 5, Menlo Park: 19, San Bruno: 19, San Carlos: 22, Santa Clara: 1, So. San Francisco: 1, Brisbane: 6, Belmont: 6.San Francisco: 1, Brisbane: 6, Belmont: 6.

“We are pleased to see the increase in the rate of business sales in the county and in California, but it most likely will take at least a few years before the market returns to the level of activity experienced before the recession. In the meantime, we expect a measured recovery as buyers and sellers learn and develop fresh strategies that help them successfully close deals,” said Siegel.

He said, “The issues restraining growth in the volume of business transfers include a general mood of uncertainty among many participants in the market, and the difficulties accessing business purchase loans needed to help fund transactions. While some banks and other financial institutions are starting to serve the business-for-sale market, too many entrepreneurs still are stumbling on the financing step as they try to reach their goals of a completed escrow.”

Siegel noted, “The rate of small business sales is an important indicator of the state’s economic health. If small businesses are to grow and provide more jobs, they need to be transferred to new, often more energetic ownership when the current owner is ready to retire or undertake some other enterprise.” He defines a small business as a company that sells for $2 million or less.

The BizBen Index figures, showing the sales rates by city and county throughout the state for the past four years are accessed at this BizBen site.

The BizBen.com website features more than 8,000 California businesses for sale and businesses wanted postings, along with offerings of new franchises and business opportunities. Since 1994 this niche online network and service has proved a valuable tool for thousands of California business buyers, small business owners/sellers, intermediaries, and advisors. The site also includes articles, resources, news and tips, and a daily blog. For the past 15 years, its BizBen Index has collected and reported on business sales statistics, by county and city, throughout the state.

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