The single greatest problem facing both brokers and potential buyers is the lack of SBA loans," according to top business broker Robert Slingerland.
"This is subsequently the best way to get the economy back on track, given that the majority of people are employed by small businesses," continues Slingerland, who runs the business valuation and brokerage arm of Prudential Interwest Business Consultants in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Speaking to BusinessesForSale.com, he is not alone in lamenting the shortage of government-backed finance.
Another broker agreed that "SBA bank loans are almost impossible to get for a buyer. It's also difficult to get cash advances for a seller in an established business."
Not everyone agree, however.
Eric Gagnon, president of We Sell Restaurants, senses that the tide is turning: "After years of no lending, we have had several SBA deals funded recently, demonstrating that the credit thaw is finally in place, even for difficult-to-finance businesses like restaurants."
With the recovery still anaemic, there's apprehension on both sides of the market, as one agent explains: "With buyer and seller behavior not much has changed, but the economy has negatively impacted the market.
"Sellers are waiting for the business' performance to rebound. Buyers, due to financial history of a business, have no confidence or trust. Banks lending policies aren't helping the buyer's attitude."
One agent thinks the looming presidential election is intruding on business owners' thinking: "The most difficult part of our business today is getting buyers to make a decison," reports jeff Nyman, a broker for Las Vegas First Choice Business Brokers.
"Even when they see a good business with good income and books and records to prove the income, they are reluctant to make a deal because they have openly admitted they are worried about the political scene and how a Democrat-run presidency and congress will hurt and the small-business owner with extra tax and reporting burden."
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