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Business Observer Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 8 months ago

Business owners head for the exits

Companies continue to change hands at a record pace as baby boomers move on.

As the baby boom generation continues to exert its influence on macroeconomic trends, a record number of businesses were again sold in 2018, according to BizBuySell, a website that helps business owners and brokers sell a business.

According to BizBuySell’s Insight Report, published annually since 2007, 10,312 businesses changed hands last year — good for a 4% increase over 2017 — and Florida featured prominently in the flurry of activity.

With 539 sales, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area ranked No. 3 in closed small business transactions, trailing only New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island’s 672 and top-ranked Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana’s 691.

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach checked in at No. 4, with 499 sales, while Orlando-Kissimmee also cracked the top 10 with 269 sales, good for No. 9. 

The value of small businesses also rose in 2018, according to the report. In the Tampa Bay market, the median sale price was $325,000 — a 10.2% increase over 2017, which was good enough to land it in the Top 10 of that BizBuySell Insight Report category (see chart). The median revenue of Tampa Bay area businesses that changed hands was slightly down, dropping from $457,609 to $451,600, but median cash flow was higher, rising from $122,253 to $134,705.


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