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Business Observer Friday, Mar. 30, 2018 3 years ago

Business sales are on the rise, in the region and nationally

A record number of U.S. businesses changed hands in 2017.

A record number of U.S. businesses changed hands in 2017, according to data compiled by research firm BizBuySell, and the Tampa Bay region was a big part of that flurry.

In a press release, BizBuySell officials say they've been keeping tabs on how many businesses are bought and sold in the United States since 2007, and 2017 was a banner year — especially in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area, which saw 487 businesses sold in the fourth quarter alone.

That represents an increase of 93.3% over the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the release.

More restaurants — 93 — were sold than any other type of business in the region. Service-industry businesses were also well represented in the study: 87 were sold. That was followed by retail business, which saw 51 ownership changes.

The least likely business type to be sold? Manufacturing. A mere eight manufacturing companies received new owners in 2017, according to BizBuySell, which also reported that in 2017 businesses sold for a median sale price of $295,000 — exactly the same as 2016.

On average, sellers received 97% of the asking price, the release states. These businesses boasted a median revenue of $405,309 — up from up from $395,990 in 2016 — and a median cash flow of $122,252.

Bob House, president of BizBuySell, says the numbers indicate a strengthening economy. “It’s exciting to see the number of sellers, particularly baby boomers, who were able to close better deals,” he states in the release, “and that there remains a growing supply of buyers excited to enter the small business market.”

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