ECONOMY

Get Started: Sales of businesses at post-recession high

BUSINESS SALES BOOM

Sales of small businesses have reached their highest level since the second quarter of 2008, before the worst of the Great Recession hit the country.

That's the finding of BizBuySell.com, an online marketplace for small companies. BizBuySell.com counted 2,090 closed transactions among its network of business brokers, up 8 percent from 1,935 in the second quarter and 15 percent from 1,814 a year earlier.

In the second quarter of 2008, BizBuySell.com counted 2,098 transactions. At the low point of the recession — the second quarter of 2009 — BizBuySell logged just 1,040 closings.

Many sellers are putting their companies on the block now because they've waited out the recession but are concerned about not getting the price they want if there's another economic downturn, according to BizBuySell.com. At the same time, many buyers want to close a deal because they believe they won't get a better price by waiting.

CYBERSECURITY HELP

Small businesses are at a high risk for internet attacks that can include having their bank accounts hacked or their computer files encrypted by criminals who demand a ransom. The Small Business Administration is holding a Twitter chat about cybersecurity for small companies. It will be Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. EDT. You can take part by using the hashtag #SBAchat.

The SBA also has tips about cybersecurity on its website at http://tinyurl.com/z8ronta . There's more information on the Federal Communications Commission website at https://www.fcc.gov/general/cybersecurity-small-business .

BUSINESS PLAN ADVICE

Companies need business plans not only if they want to apply for a loan or other financing; many experts say a business plan is a good way for an owner to prepare a company for growth. SCORE, the organization that gives free counseling to small businesses, will sponsor an online seminar on how to create or update a business plan. It will be held Thursday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Learn more and register at http://bit.ly/2dZkyY8

_____

Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joyce-m-rosenberg