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Index Tracks 27% Rise in Business Sales in Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County recorded 14 sales of small- and midsized business last month, a 27 percent increase compared with the 11 transactions completed in October, according to the BizBen Index, which tracks and reports sales volume in California’s market for small business for sale transfers.

The company also announced that the 183 county businesses sold so far in 2012 represent the best deal volume since 2009, when 211 transactions were completed over the first 11 months.

“Along with the improved Santa Barbara County numbers, the statewide business sales count was 1,022 last month, an increase of more than 7 percent over the 952 deals recorded throughout California during November of last year,” said Peter Siegel, MBA, founder and president of, parent of the BizBen Index. “It’s encouraging to notice the improvement in business transfer activity because it suggests the market is starting to recover from the slowdown we’ve experienced over the past four years.”

The BizBen Index tally of county sales shows that the City of Santa Barbara registered seven deals during the month. Three of the county’s transactions involved Santa Maria businesses.

Siegel said the California-wide total of business sales so far this year, at 13,084, shows a drop of about 34 percent compared with the count of 19,885 deals recorded in the first 11 months of 2008.

“After 2008, the business for sale market began to suffer the full impact of the banking crisis and the recession,” Siegel said. “A 34 percent drop in activity means at least one-third fewer people were able to buy a business in each of the last four years, even though there has been increased demand for small- and midsized businesses in the state. Behind the demand pressure are thousands of Californians who’ve decided that owning their own company is a better long-term financial plan in this economic environment than working for someone else.

“And for every buyer unable to succeed in this market, there is a business owner who was unable to sell. So one third fewer sellers managed to conclude a deal, despite a growing market of companies being offered by the several thousand baby-boomer owners who are ready and eager to retire, and need to sell in order to help fund that retirement.”

Siegel noted that the business sales rate in the country’s largest state is a key economic indicator.

“The fact that we’re starting to see an increase in the number of successful deals tells us that people are learning to adapt to the changes in the business for sale market — a market that has been significantly impacted by the New Economy,” he said.

Santa Barbara County business sales figures, reported by city through the first 11 months of the year are Goleta — 12, Santa Barbara — 80, Carpinteria — 4, Lompoc — 20, Santa Maria — 39, Buellton — 6, Los Alamos — 1, Santa Barbara (Montecito) — 1, Solvang — 12, Santa Ynez — 3, Guadalupe — 2, New Cuyama — 2 and Orcutt — 1.

The California totals for November by county are noted below. More complete sales information by California counties and cities for the past five years, supplied by the BizBen Index, can be found by clicking here.

Alameda — 62, Amador — 3, Butte — 5, Contra Costa — 29, El Dorado — 6, Fresno — 22, Humboldt — 2, Imperial — 6, Kern — 10, Lake — 1, Los Angeles — 306, Marin — 1, Marion — 1, Mendocino — 2, Merced — 1, Monterey — 14, Nevada — 6, Orange — 101, Placer — 13, Riverside — 31, Sacramento — 24, San Bernardino — 54, San Diego — 89, San Francisco — 18, San Joaquin — 14, San Luis Obispo — 7, San Mateo — 20, Santa Barbara — 14, Santa Clara — 57, Santa Cruz — 12, Shasta — 3, Solano — 8, Sonoma — 28, Stanislaus — 16, Sutter — 4, Tehama — 1, Tulare — 6, Tuolumne — 1, Ventura — 19 and Yolo — 4

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

— Peter Siegel is the founder and president of

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