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  • Aaron Thom

Coming back from COVID.

Let’s face it. A small business is a lot more successful and valuable when it is up and running full tilt, when consumers have confidence, and when its customers have complete access to its goods or services. So, how are businesses ‘coming back from COVID?’ Employment statistics can be an indicator of how things are going in the marketplace, but, more importantly, of what the value of a business-for-sale might be.

There are some current unemployment updates in a July 2, 2020 news release from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. A few facts straight from the release:

  • The total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4.8 million in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 11.1 percent.


  • The number of unemployed persons fell by 3.2 million to 17.8 million.


  • The number of unemployed persons who were on temporary layoff decreased by 4.8 million in June to 10.6 million, following a decline of 2.7 million in May.

You can read the news release here: www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf.


While there may be a ‘ways to go,’ and not all the news is great, it does appear we are turning the corner and coming out of the slump.


More important, innovative small businesses are adapting to the new realities of social distancing and providing services with all the constraints that distancing implies. As usual, it is entrepreneurial small businesses that are creating breakthroughs in curb-side pickup services and outdoor patio experiences and thus better consumer experiences and innovation in the face of the pandemic.


Leave it to small business to figure out the best way to continue to serve customers in spite of any social, competitive or marketplace situation – even a pandemic.


Many owners are starting to take a serious look at selling their businesses as things turn around. Having survived the worst of February through June, many businesses have come out the other side leaner, stronger and, therefore, more attractive to buyers. And, I like to say, “The best time to sell a good business is when it is still a good business.”


Add to this the fact that there appears to be an abundance of buyers and capital ‘backed up’ and ready for investment, now is a pretty good time for business owners to start to at least consider their options with regard to selling.


After a couple months of a slowdown in the businesses-for-sale we were posting, the situation is beginning to completely turn around with more business owner interest and inquiries in selling, more businesses-for-sale being listed, and an abundance of interest and capital being aimed at new business-for-sale listings.


And the improved outlook is spanning many industry sectors. Again, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics news release, “In June, employment in leisure and hospitality rose sharply. Notable job gains also occurred in retail trade, education and health services, other services, manufacturing, and professional and business services.”


That’s pretty good news. Let’s hope it keeps up!


Aaron Thom

Sunbelt Business Advisors

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