The county’s improved business sales statistic was counter to the statewide figures which show a decline to 1,179 completed deals last month, compared to the 1,223 transactions that closed in January 2012.

“In much of California, there was a rush to complete sales during the last few days of December because sellers were concerned their capital gains taxes could go up starting in 2013. It would leave them with a lower net sale price for their companies,” said Peter Siegel, MBA, Founder and President of, parent of the BizBen Index.

He noted a total of 22 deals involving Santa Barbara County businesses were concluded in December 2012. “A transaction-heavy month like December, 2012, often results in a drop in sales during the following 31-day period.”

Of the 13 deals concluded in the county last month, 12 involved City of Santa Barbara businesses. There also was a completed sale in Goleta. The BizBen Index record of Santa Barbara County business sales for the past four years is posted at:

“Although California is off to a slightly slower start in business transactions compared to last year, we remain optimistic that we’ll see more activity in the market this year than in 2012,” said Siegel.

“Easier access to funds from financial institutions will be an important factor if we’re to experience a busier business for sale marketplace throughout the state. Financial institutions aren’t handing out cash like they did before the mortgage meltdown. But many are starting to loosen up on the purse strings and make loans for solid deals.

“And we’re seeing more innovative strategies being used by smart California entrepreneurs. Fresh approaches are needed to overcome some of the deal killers we’ve had to cope with in the past few years. This is a New Economy for participants in the small business for sale market in California. It comes with some new imperatives. People who know how to adapt to this environment are giving themselves an advantage.

“The long term picture for the California small business transfer market looks very promising,” said Siegel. “We see growth in the number of businesses becoming available for sale because the members of the large population of baby boomer business owners are starting to retire. And simultaneously, the demand curve is rising as more Californians become disenchanted with the chances of continuous and high paying employment. They’re deciding to purchase fast food franchises, auto service shops, retail stores and other small companies so they can control their financial futures.”

Siegel said a small business is a company that sells for $2 million or less.

The California business sales totals for January 2013, by county, are noted below and available at:

Alameda: 32, Amador: 7, Butte: 4, Contra Costa: 36, El Dorado: 3, Fresno: 43, Glenn: 1, Imperial: 3, Kern: 27, Los Angeles: 289, Madera: 2, Marin: 4, Mariposa: 1, Merced: 6, Monterey: 14, Nevada: 5, Orange: 129, Placer: 11, Riverside: 50, Sacramento: 36, San Bernardino: 55, San Diego: 132, San Francisco: 31, San Joaquin: 16, San Luis Obispo: 24, San Mateo: 25, Santa Barbara: 13, Santa Clara: 47, Santa Cruz: 9, Solano: 7, Sonoma: 28, Stanislaus: 27, Sutter: 4, Tehama: 7, Trinity: 1, Tulare: 11, Tuolumne: 4, Ventura: 23, Yolo: 7

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

The 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 16 years, its BizBen Index has collected and reported on business sales statistics, by county and city, throughout the state.


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