With all of the tragedy, shut down and hardship associated with COVID, there have been a few bright spots in the Nevada business community that give us great hope for 2021.
As the new year is underway, it is interesting to note that entrepreneurship is notably on the rise. Nevada has experienced an increase in the sale of existing businesses to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Many people looking to buy a business are local, however we are seeing increasing interest from buyers outside of Nevada.
The business-friendly climate in Nevada is drawing people from across the country including California, Wisconsin, Illinois, Alabama and Florida. People are more mobile now due to the disruptions cause by the pandemic. Demographically we are seeing buyers who have been downsized at the height of their careers and have decided to consider business ownership as an alternative to seeking new employment.
Fueling this turnover in ownership is the growing number of current business owners who are ready to retire. We are facing what some in the business transaction community are calling the “Silver Tsunami”. Business owners in the Baby Boomer generation who were starting to think about retirement in 2018 or 2019 have weathered the pandemic with all of its trials and tribulations. Now they are ready to pass the torch. What was a passing thought for these individuals two years ago is now an imperative.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is doing their part to ensure that businesses pass on to the next generation of entrepreneurship. In order to relieve pressure on current lendees and incentivize small businesses/entrepreneurs to invest, they are making loans more accessible. As of December 2020, Congress signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which will continue the economic assistance provided by the government through the CARES Act. More specifically, this act allowed for an additional $325 billion in funding to help small businesses, with some of this financial support going towards the SBA 7(a) loan programs, saving new borrowers (between February 1 2021 and September 30, 2021) thousands of dollars in waived guarantee fees and subsidized loan payments.
To take advantage of the increased interest in business ownership, business owners thinking about selling should be focused on protecting and increasing the value of their business and minimizing the impact of the COVID disruption.
While lenders are making allowances for COVID, to get the best price for their businesses, owners must have excellent bookkeeping demonstrating evidence of a rebound. Business buyers need to have investment capital and excellent credit. Buyers will also benefit from preparing a detailed bio that describes their strengths and experience. The ability to sell yourself to lenders (and business owners) is critical to success.
The economy has certainly been impacted by the effects of the pandemic and we don’t want to downplay the suffering of so many in our community. But, there is a silver lining; businesses are selling at a record pace in Nevada. We see this as a reason for hope. When businesses survive to be sold, it benefits, not only the buyers and the sellers, but Nevada as a whole. It leads to economic growth and preserves the vibrancy and character of our community, which in turn attracts new business and business owners. Nevada is poised to reap the benefits of the creativity and stimulus with which we responded to the unprecedented COVID pandemic.