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From the category archives: Certified Business Brokers News

The business climate and economy in Houston, Texas is booming. When you find the right business in the right place... magical things can happen.

The State of the Business-For-Sale Market 2020

Is 2020 a Good Year to Sell a Business?  Before deciding whether or not to buy or sell a business in 2020, you should be aware that political unease is driving down business valuations. While there is no recession yet, the prospect of one is still on the horizon, and 53 percent of business brokers surveyed by the Market Pulse Report of Pepperdine Business School says it’s already driving down valuations. This national survey was completed by business brokers and M&A advisors with the intent of providing a valuable resource to business owners and their advisors.

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It's A Competitive Market For Buying A Business

If you are looking for a profitable, well-run business to acquire, you are not alone.  Right now, there are not enough businesses for sale to meet buyer demand, as reported by a Market Pulse Survey in early 2017 sponsored by the IBBA (International Business Brokers Association) and M&A Source. The survey was conducted with support from the Graziado School of Business at Pepperdine University.

 

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Navigating Today's Business-For-Sale Environment

A record number of small businesses were bought and sold in America in 2016, topping 2015's totals by 8.6 percent and 2014's previous high by 4.6 percent. Will this momentum be sustained? According to Deloitte's year-end report "activity is poised to accelerate, perhaps significantly." Primary factors for the bullish outlook are stock prices at historic levels, interest rates... despite the forecast for an increase...remain near or at historic lows, an improving business environment, more qualified buyers on the market, and much improved financing options.

 

The following data shows a snapshot of 2016 market statistics for the Greater Houston Metro Area. A total of 66 U.S. metro areas were represented in a report by BizBuySell from data provided by Business Brokers. Most businesses are valued based on a multiple of adjusted earnings.

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Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Business?

If you buy a business in Texas, now is a good time to buy a business. With a roller-coaster stock market, a not-quite bottomed-out real estate market, and interest rates so low, there is nowhere else that will yield a higher return on your investment than in your own business. In what other investment can you receive a return of 25% and higher, and over which you have control? While many areas of the country might not be faring well, business owners in Texas reported higher sales growth than the rest of the country. Texas has consistently been one of the best economic engines in the nation and ranked the Best State For Business in 2010 and 2011. Texas is popping up on a lot of radar screens as a place to relocate or expand for businesses because of its future outlook for growth. If you are looking for stability, better predictability and control in today's economy, buying a business in Texas can offer all of these as long as you invest wisely and purchase a quality business ...

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Houston's Top Standing in U.S.

We've been touting the Houston Economy and marketplace for years. But don't just take our word for it. You'll enjoy watching this YouTube production that struck a chord with people across the country and has become an online hit. See why everyone is talking about Houston!

Watch the YouTube Video

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Houston: Model City -- Forbes Article by Joel Kotkin

Do cities have a future? Pessimists point to industrial-era holdovers like Detroit and Cleveland. Urban boosters point to dense, expensive cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco. Yet if you want to see successful 21st-century urbanism, hop on down to Houston and the Lone Star State. You won't be alone: Last year Houston added 141,000 residents, more than any region in the U.S. save the city's similarly sprawling rival, Dallas-Fort Worth. Over the past decade Houston's population has grown by 24%--five times the rate of San Francisco, Boston and New York. In that time it has attracted 244,000 new residents from other parts of the U.S., while older cities experienced high rates of out-migration. It is even catching up on foreign immigration, enjoying a rate comparable with New York's and roughly 50% higher than that of Boston or Chicago. So what does Houston have that these other cities lack? Opportunity. Between 2000 and 2009 Houston's employment grew by 260,000. Greater New York City--with nearl ...

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Texas No. 1 on 'Best-for-Business' State List for CEOs

Texas ranked as the No. 1 state for business in a recent survey (May 24, 2010) of CEOs published in “Chief Executive” magazine. Closely following in the poll of 651 CEOs were North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Nevada. Rounding out the top 10 were Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Utah, and South Carolina. As for the bottom of the barrel, California led the way, followed by New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. "Texas is pro-business with reasonable regulations, while California is anti-business with anti-business regulations," one CEO told the magazine. The CEOs ranked states in three main categories: taxes and regulation, skill of the workforce, and quality of living. Perhaps not coincidentally, nine of the top 10 — Colorado is the exception — are among the 22 right-to-work states in the country, meaning that state law forbids forcing employees to join a union to be able to work. Meanwhile, all five of the states the CEOs ranked on the bottom do not have su ...

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Texas #2 State in America for Small Business Development for 2010

The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) has ranked Texas the second-best state in America for small-business development for 2010. The council released its Business Tax Index: Best to Worst State Tax Systems for Entrepreneurship and Small Business report. The report analyzes and combines 16 different tax measures into one tax score for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including income, capital gains, property, death/inheritance and unemployment taxes. The report also takes into account various consumption-based taxes such as state gas and diesel levies. "Taxes at the state and local levels matter by diverting resources from and reducing incentives for productive, private-sector risk taking that generates innovation, growth and jobs," says Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for SBEC and author of the report. "Quite simply, economic recovery will be restrained by high or increasing taxes, or boosted by low or falling taxes. Governors and legislators have a choice." The Small ...

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Texas Comptroller's Economic Outlook

Updated April 10, 2010 The Texas economy, the world’s 12th-largest, continues to fare better than those of many other states. But Texas felt the effects of the worldwide recession during 2009. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. economy peaked in December 2007 and entered recession. The Texas economy continued to grow through most of 2008, with employment peaking in August that year, then Texas joined the nation in losing jobs. During 2009, Texas’ gross state product (GSP) declined more slowly than the U.S. economy (-1.7 percent versus -2.5 percent.) Despite the state’s economy contracting in 2009, Texas’ relative economic advantage should continue as the state and U.S. economies turn around and expand again in 2010. Although job growth will continue to lag the renewed expansion of economic production, the Comptroller’s office estimates that the Texas’ GSP will grow by 2.6 percent during calendar 2010. The U.S. economy should grow at a s ...

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Small Businesses Will Lead Economic Rebound

As markets continue to stabilize, 45% of CEOs interviewed for Pricewaterhouse-Coopers’ Private Company Trendsetter Barometer survey are optimistic about the US economy over the next 12 months (up two points from the previous quarter), and 47% who market abroad are optimistic about the world economy. Additionally, an increasing number plan to raise operational spending over the next 12 months (62%), despite concerns of legislative and regulatory pressures. The gap in projected revenue growth and hiring for small (less than $100 million in annual revenue) versus large (more than $100 million in annual revenue) private businesses has continued to widen this quarter with smaller firms projecting revenue growth at 11.7% versus 3.9% for large firms; hiring was cited at 56 % versus 34%. However, large private firms are planning for major capital investments at a larger percentage – 33% versus 26% among small firms. "The higher projected revenue growth rates and hiring for smaller companies versus l ...

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Texas Economic Outlook from State Comptroller's Office

Updated February, 5, 2010 The Texas economy, the world’s 12th-largest, continues to fare better than those of many other states. But Texas felt the effects of the worldwide recession during 2009. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. economy peaked in December 2007 and entered recession. The Texas economy continued to grow through most of 2008, with employment peaking in October that year, then Texas joined the nation in losing jobs. During 2009, Texas’ gross state product (GSP) declined more slowly than the U.S. economy (-1.7 percent versus -2.5 percent.) Despite the state’s economy contracting in 2009, Texas’ relative economic advantage should continue as the state and U.S. economies turn around and expand again in 2010. Although job growth will continue to lag the renewed expansion of economic production, the Comptroller’s office estimates that the Texas’ GSP will grow by 2.6 percent during calendar 2010. The U.S. economy should grow ...

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Houston Small Business Acquisitions Outpace Nation

More small businesses in Houston were sold in 2009 than in any other city in the U.S. Why? Because buyers are positioning themselves for the future. We have been bragging about Houston's economy and the engine behind it for a long time. Pick your industry, we've touted it. Houston Business Journal last week reported, "Houston-area small business sales outpace nation," which is the message we've been delivering and the trend we've been experiencing for years. Here's the HBJ article: Small business owners in the Houston area who wanted to sell their companies in 2009 were more successful in finding buyers than entrepreneurs elsewhere in the United States. Local owners also got more money for their businesses than sellers nationwide, according to statistics from BizBuySell.com, a large online marketplace for selling businesses. A total of 107 companies in the Houston area were reported sold by business brokers in 2009, down by 7 percent from 115 sales reported to BizBuySell in 2008. In comparis ...

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Why You Should Consider Selling Your Business in 2010

The 2010 new year brings with it the time when business owners review their strategic plan and business goals. Many of the owners we talk to are wondering if this is the year to consider selling the business. In Texas, there are five specific reasons why it would make sense to sell in 2010. There are many factors that determine best timing for selling a small business -- the financial condition of the company, valuation, growth cycle, profit history, and the current market. Usually the best time to obtain the highest price occurs when sales and earnings are good and trending upward with a history of good performance. This gives buyers confidence in projected future earnings. Value is dynamic and proper timing makes a big difference in the prices paid for business acquisitions. External factors such as the economy, industry trends, stock market volatility, competition, investor confidence, interest rates, and geopolitical considerations are cycles of constant change that impact value. Internal condi ...

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Houston Ranks #4 Best Place to Start a Business

Houston has received several noteworthy accolades this month. Houston may have a bad reputation for hot, humid weather and nasty traffic, but according to Fortune Small Business magazine, it’s a pretty good place to start a company. Fortune ranked Houston the fourth best place among large metropolitan areas in the U.S. to launch a business. In addition to jobs, the city’s ability to weather the recession was noted as a reason for the pick. Houston also ranks near the top in city income growth, as No. 5 in the nation. Houston’s success with job growth over the past 25 years has placed the city among the top markets in the country for elevated income levels, according to a new research study. Bizjournals, an affiliate of the Houston Business Journal, combed through 25 years of federal income data to find the nation’s 100 biggest metropolitan areas, covering the span from 1983 through 2008. The study focused on per capita income, a key indicator of earning power and econo ...

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Texas Restaurant Industry - Biggest in the Nation in 2009

Texas has long been the hot bed of restaurant activity in the U.S. With roughly $35 billion in sales expected in 2009, the restaurant industry in Texas is anticipated to be the leader in the restaurant sector in growth, according to the National Restaurant Organization, as reported in the Wall Street Journal. The $35 billion figure represents a 4 percent increase in sales year-over-year. That's down from 5.6 percent growth in 2008, but still shows that Texas restaurants are bucking the recession. The national sales growth rate is expected to be almost half the growth of Texas at 2.5 percent. In December 2007 California was #1 in restaurant sales, with Texas in the #2 position. We all know where California stands this day. Texas has outpaced the has-been leader and is kicking butt. “Even in these tough economic times, it is clear that the Texas restaurant industry is the best place to do business in the nation,” said Richie Jackson, executive vice president and chief executive of the ...

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Selling a Business in a Down Economy

With negative economic news grabbing the headlines, business owners are inclined to believe that it is not a good time to sell their company and that they will have to put their retirement plans on hold. While this rationale makes sense for some, waiting for better economic times does not necessarily equate to a higher value when the business is sold. The reality is, in many instances, the business value declines during this delay because the owner is not as energetic and gung ho as in previous years and the business starts retiring before the owner does. This usually results in less revenues and a lower bottom line. Consequently, the business owner can lose several years of retirement yet not add any additional value to their net worth. The sale of a profitable company in this environment is a viable strategy for business owners who are ready to sell. Value is dynamic and proper timing makes a big difference in the prices paid for business acquisitions. Quality sells in any economic environment and p ...

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CBB Deal Closed -- Front Page Feature of Houston Business Journal

Dragging economy revs up auto shops ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Certified Business Brokers, Houston, closed the deal between Buyer, Tariq Aziz, and Seller, Wayne Ray, of Mr. Transmission, on February 27, 2009. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Published February 27, 2009 -- Houston Business Journal - by Allison Wollam Tariq Aziz owned a health care software services company for 14 years. He considered the current economy, decided to change careers, and has purchased a Mr. Transmission/Milex Complete Auto Care shop. “When I look at the economy, I’m thinking that people are choosing to maintain and repair theirs cars in case, God forbid, they lose their jobs,” says Aziz. “People are willing to spend a couple-hundred dollars to maintain their cars in order to get back and forth to work. It’s a scary time right now.” A lot of concerned consumers are giving mo ...

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Texas No. 1 Economy In The Nation, Houston Leads The Way

Texas is the state most likely to keep the economic engine running. The Financial Times recently named Texas the No. 1 state economy in the nation in a study measuring the impact of the current financial downturn on the 50 U.S. states. Thanks to high rankings in four separate economic indicators: employment growth rate, state product growth rate (GSP), personal income growth rate and home foreclosure rate, Texas is the state best-suited to weather the current financial turmoil. While most state and local governments are faltering because property taxes and sales revenues have dropped significantly, the situation in Texas is more robust. According to the Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas sales tax receipts for December 2008 were up 2 percent from the same month last year. As for property values, while Houston has not been completely immune to the decline, homes have not experienced the overly-high appreciation rate of other markets, and with outstanding job and population growth, Houston is not ex ...

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Sooner Than Expected - A Buyer's Market for Buying Businesses

While the economy is expected to remain weak throughout 2009, there will continue to be plenty of opportunities for individuals and businesses in a position to buy, according to a recently released survey. The report, published by the International Business Brokers Association, found that 61 percent of the survey participants, professionals involved in selling businesses, believe that more businesses will go up for sale in 2009, while 66 percent say they will sell more businesses this year compared to 2008. This is no surprise. In April 2008, just nine months ago, Inc Magazine published "The Most Valuable Businesses in America" issue, which spelled out the Seller's market that has historically existed but would change as baby boomers started retiring. So, we have, indeed, been anticipating the change of the business-for-sale marketplace. But it was predicted to occur steadily over the next decade. Economic turbulence has accelerated the natural process. “While the economy has put a damper on ...

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Houston Leads the Nation in Employment....Still

Houston registered the nation's biggest gain is private-sector employment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released today. As a matter of fact, Houston has been the pace setter for employment for the last couple of years. The Houston area added 42,400 private-sector jobs between November 2007 and November 2008, almost three times the gain of any other U.S. market, except for Dallas, the #2 market, with a gain of 35,100 jobs. No other U.S. market gained more than 15,600 private-sector jobs during the 12-month period. Just one-fifth of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, in fact, managed to add any jobs at all. Seventy-eight suffered losses, 21 posted increases, and one was unchanged. Four other markets lost more than 50,000 private-sector jobs during the past year: Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix. The following are the 100 biggest labor markets in America, ranked according to raw change in private-sector employment between November 2007 and No ...

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Buying or Selling a Business During Tough Times

With negative economic news grabbing the headlines in the United States, business owners may think it is not a good time to sell their company. But fortunately for owners looking to sell, that is not necessarily true. Business sales are still taking place with sellers capturing attractive prices and favorable terms, when the deal is structured properly. One of the the most important foundations of constructing a successful deal has always been a solid buyer, one that is creditworthy. Whether it is an individual, another company, or a Private Equity Group, qualifying criteria are demonstrated business acumen, significant assets to pledge as collateral, or a committed fund behind them. With a proven, credible buyer at the negotiating table, lenders are more likely to support the transaction. In today's environment, some seller financing should be expected to get the deal done. It is not uncommon during a tight economy that sellers must share the risks with the buyer and the lender in order to achieve ...

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Houston Business Acquisition Market Will Remain Brisk

The current status of the small business marketplace in Houston is dynamic. Buyers in every category are plentiful, our economic position is one of the top in the nation, business policies are in place for continued prosperity and growth, interest rates are at historic lows, and capital is available for business acquisitions. Fueling the Houston market are the different categories of buyers: Individuals, Strategic Buyers, and Investment Buyers. For example, a variety of people in the Individual Buyer Category are: early baby-boomer corporate retirees corporate refugees who have suffered a downsize foreign buyers seeing U.S. businesses as investment opportunities while the dollar is still valued lower against their own currency 30-something-up-and-comers aggressively buying and building Strategic and Investment Buyers are also actively looking for opportunities to take part in Houston's prosperous future outlook. Increasingly, corporate America, both public and privately- ...

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Houston, Keep Your Seatbelts Buckled As Our Economy Takes Off

Despite a sluggish economy in the U.S., Houston is still displaying its buccaneering spirit. While the oil boom is a large part of the Bayou City's good fortune, it is not the only gusher pouring out prosperity. A diversified business base is the fuel that powers Houston's shining-star status. Newsweek published an article this weekend titled, Houston, We Have No Problems, that every advocate of Houston would want to read. It addresses the varying aspects of what makes our city so hot, and it wasn't talking about our summer heat. Houston's cash registers are ringing with big ticket items, construction crews are fully employed, and upscale restaurants are cooking. We are experiencing an unsinkable residential real estate market, Class A office space is virtually full, and a variety of construction projects are underway to keep up with demand. The article also purports that pessimists here are as rare as Birkenstock sandals and Obama '08 stickers in ExxonMobil's parking garage. The article inform ...

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Why Does Houston Have the Second Most Fortune 500 Companies in the Nation?

Houston had 20 Fortune 500's in 2005, 22 in 2007, and now has 50. But New York City has dropped from 45 to 43. So Houston had a net gain of +5 in one year. But that's using city data, not metro. If you count The Woodlands as part of Houston, we pick up Anadarko, for a total of 26 Fortune 500's and a net gain over NYC of +6. Houston stands well ahead at the #2 spot with Dallas (12), Chicago (12), and Atlanta (9) lagging considerably behind.

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Fortune Small Business Puts Houston in Top 5 Places for Manufacturing

Fortune Small Business scoured the country for the 100 Best Towns To Live and Launch a Business for 2008, as published in April. They looked for towns that combine a great business environment with alluring leisure offerings. They looked at economic conditions such as local taxes rates alongside natural beauty and easy access to museums, and more. Of the 100 Best Places to Live and Launch, the four major cities in Texas were represented: Georgetown, a suburb of Austin (No. 2), Dallas / Fort Worth (No. 9), San Antonio (No. 34), Stafford, a suburb of Houston (No. 36) Fortune further spells out some of the benefits of the cities chosen. 7 tax-free havens Texas was selected as one of the best tax-free havens with business-friendly policies that can save a proprietor big bucks: Texas No personal income tax, low business gross receipts tax. Although petroleum refining is one of Texas' primary industries, the state's economy relies on a wide variety of fields, including manufacturing, agricu ...

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Houston Leads the Nation in Employment Growth for Metro Areas in U.S.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' April 29, 2008 release, the Houston Metropolitan Area is still leading the nation in year over year job growth. The stats not only indicate Houston as the hottest job market, it highlights the fact that Texas' other three major metro areas are dominating the job scene as well. Two of the four metros in the U.S. that have added the most jobs are in Texas, Houston being #1 and Dallas/Fort Worth #3. Four of the five top metros with the highest employment growth rate statistics are in Texas, with Houston, again, being 1, Austin #2, San Antonio #3, and Dallas, #5. More proof that Texas is doing better than most states when it comes to economic worries is that the four major Texas cities are being called "recession proof", according to Forbes.com April 29, 2008 article that lists Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas in the top ten most recession-proof cities in the nation. Among other things, Forbes looked at unemployment data and median home p ...

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Houston From A Chicago Point Of View

I found this post by Chicago Addick interesting and comical as he describes the wonders of Houston from a Northerner's point of view. The writer seemed amused, amazed, appreciative, and condescending all at the same time: Houstonians spend more time in their cars than their homes and perhaps then understandably spend more money on their car loan repayments than their mortgages! Houston sprawls for over 600 miles and is connected by a spaghetti of freeways and highways. Two million people live in America's fourth biggest city that grew from wilderness to a booming economic centre. Only New York is home to more Fortune 500 company headquarters. In 1901, a year after displaced Texans from coastal Galveston moved inland to Houston following a deadly hurricane, oil was discovered at the Spindletop oil field near Beaumont. Much money was then invested in the ship canals and later into the formation of the Port of Houston, now the largest in foreign imports in the US, which includes nearly all European cars ...

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Got Business? Houston Does -- Here's Why!

The Houston metropolitan area ranked fourth in the nation for overall population growth between 2006 and 2007, according to new census data released last month. The increase is attributed to our job market and booming economy. We have full-occupancy in our Class A office space, and we have experienced the #1 job-growth rate in the country (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) due to the opportunities available in our expanding market. Barton Smith, a University of Houston economist, said about two-thirds of Houston growth is from migration from other states. "That only happens when the economy is doing substantially better than other places," Smith said. "Houston's economy is going to continue to outperform the national economy in a significant way, so when unemployment starts to creep up in other parts of the country, many people are going to leave Michigan and Ohio and Florida and look for jobs here." Many Texas cities enjoy a strong economy and low unemployment and as a result Gov. Rick Perry annou ...

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Inc. Magazine - "It's a Seller's Market for Buying Businesses."

It's all about supply and demand. Potential buyers and sources of capital for the acquisition of profitable privately-held companies is plentiful while the supply of businesses on the market is not. This makes a profitable, established business a hot commodity and in demand. Inc. Magazine spells it out in this month's issue, "The Most Valuable Businesses in America." During my first conversation with Darren Dahl in February, in preparation for his writing the article for Inc. Magazine, he wanted to understand what drives the value of a business and why some businesses are more desirable than others. I first described the Houston marketplace, which enjoys one of the top economies in the nation. Location, location, location is always a value driver, and a business location is no exception. I've been writing about Houston's hot economic climate for over a year now and told Mr. Dahl that Houston is a "bulls eye" target for business acquisitions because of it. We cannot satiate the marketplace of buyer ...

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Selling A Business In Houston - It's Still Hot!

Back in March 2007 I wrote an article touting Houston's booming economy. In revisiting that article, while there is certainly economic turmoil on today's national scene, Houston is still hot! The reason for this blog post is to share some of our current hands-on observations and experiences that keep us aware of the climate in Houston. And, I'm not talking about green house gases or other global warming theories. These are facts straight from the microeconomic level. Our firm is like a barometer for the Houston business marketplace. We know what business owners are feeling and thinking -- they talk to us. Everyday, we visit with these entrepreneurial people who are keeping Houston's economy as one of the best in the nation. And, we also serve as the information source for those who want to become business owners. Yes, they talk to us too. They are calling from New York, California, Ohio, Canada, England, well -- in other words, we are seeing international interest in Houston for business acquisitions. ...

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Houston Business Brokers Predict Buying, Selling of Companies to Grow in 2008

If you are looking to buy or sell a business in Houston, 2008 will see a wave of activity and be a year of great opportunities.We have already kicked off the New Year with a bang, closing four businesses between New Year's Eve and the day after the Holiday. And, we currently have a record number of businesses scheduled to go to the closing table over the next two months.The celebrating, enthusiastic freshly-crowned business owners are bullish on the Houston economy and have grand plans for growing their new acquisitions. As for the former proprietors, now retired former baby boomer business owners, are to be congratulated for their successful achievement and having been in the driver's seat that has helped steer our city's economy to its top status as one of the best in the nation. The diversity of our small business community is the backbone of the city's robust commercial health.We fully expect business transfer activity to continue its uptrend here. We have seen accelerated momentum over the last few years ...

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Houston - A World-Class City and Economic Powerhouse

Houston – the fourth largest city in the U.S. and the economic dynamo of Texas is also an international player in the future of global commerce. The economy of the Houston region is one of America’s largest. Its industries include oil and gas, aeronautical and space, medical research and healthcare, technology, manufacturing, logistics and shipping. The region includes America’s largest shipping port by international tonnage and the top rated logistics industry in the nation. International passenger carriers and commercial cargo carriers are positioning themselves with direct routes to Houston airports as the city gains importance in global commerce and travel. Last year, 6.4 million international passengers traveled through Bush Intercontinental Airport, a new record. The Houston Airport System expects the number of total passengers served by 2020 to be 80 million passengers a year. International patients are an important segment of Houston's increasing stream of world tr ...

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Houston Leads Future of Alternative Energy

Houston is the pacesetter in the race to a new-energy future -- Wind Energy, Biofuels, Hydrogen, Nanotechnology and Carbon-Free Energy. As investment in alternative energy surges, scientists and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. are trying to brew up remedies for the world's so-called petroleum addiction. While it's too soon to say which of these efforts will thrive and which will wither, energy-industry veterans are increasingly confident they know where at least some of tomorrow's leaders in alternative energy will be: Houston, the home of big oil. In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is pushing ahead with efforts to keep his state among the leaders in the development of green energy. The Midwest continues to explore new ways to exploit its competitive edge in ethanol. And Northeastern universities are pumping big money into energy research. While Houston's economy has been long known as a top producer for oil and gas, the oil industry is no longer the only energy star in town. Alternative ...

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Houston Economy - Manufacturing and Transportation Sectors

Ayn Rand's John Galt could not have built a better machine than Houston's sturdy economic engine of today. In her epic novel, "Atlas Shrugged," published 50 years ago, manufacturing and transportation were Rand's focal points in the plot to stop the engine of the world. Rand understood the importance of business growth, entrepreneurialism, and free market capitalism as the sparks that empower commerce and economic health of a society. The same precepts are true today and are alive and well in Houston. Houston's current standing as one of the "hottest cities for business in the nation" is due, in large part, to its business-friendly culture, its position as the No.1 manufacturing employer, having one of the most rapidly growing populations, and its strategic geographic location for conducting international commerce and transportation. Between 1990 and 2005, a time frame long enough to encompass an entire business cycle, Texas' overall factory output eclipsed all other major manufacturing states and is ...

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Texas Ranks In Top 10 Richest Economic States In The U.S.

Texas in top 10 best economic outlook rankings in the U.S. according to a new publication, Rich States/Poor States - State Economic Competitiveness Index 2007. This economic rating of the 50 states shows that those states with the lowest taxes, government spending, and regulatory burdens attract the most newcomers. Houston has long understood the precepts purported in this study. I found an interesting article published June 14, 1916 (yes, 1916!) by the New York Times, Houston Tax Plan Brings Prosperity. The article quoted J. J. Pastoriza, Tax and Finance Commissioner of Houston: "Never tax anything which is produced by the industry, enterprise, or ingenuity of man, because to do so will tend to decrease the sum and increase the cost of such products. The fewer restrictions, both as to taxes and regulation, which a city places upon business or products, the faster, greater, and wealthier will that city grow. The power to tax is the power to destroy as well as the power to build up. Houston decided ...

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Houston Banks On Small Business Strength

Houston-based banks feel less subprime pain -- Credit harm not as severe as in other regions By PURVA PATEL Dec. 5, 2007 Houston Chronicle National banks that were heavy into the mortgage market in parts of the country where the credit crunch has taken its toll have taken billions in write-offs related to loan defaults. Wells Fargo is taking a $1.4 billion fourth-quarter charge for expected losses related to home loans. Citigroup, Bank of America and Wachovia have also announced mortgage-related write-downs of $1 billion or more. But most Houston-based banks have been bolstered by the area's relatively strong economy and have been spared major damage from loans sold to people in the subprime market with weak or bad credit. That's because most of the banks focus on servicing small businesses. Some cutbacks -- Yet not all have escaped unscathed. A couple of local banks — Encore Bank and Franklin Bank — have cut staffs, and stock prices for some have taken hits by the overall marke ...

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Houston Economy is Predicted to Flourish for the Forseeable Future

Houston's economy will continue to flourish for the forseeable future, despite the nation's credit crisis (Houston Business Journal 11/19/07). The TrendLines report, researched by Transwestern affiliate Delta Associates, projects an average of 60,000 new jobs in the Houston area each year through 2009. Job growth will cause office vacancy to decline and office rental rates to increase through the end of 2008, the local commercial real estate firm predicts. On the industrial side, TrendLines shows demand for distribution and warehouse space will remain strong as the declining dollar helps boost exports. New industrial space will begin to accommodate demand, which will cause an increase in vacancy and the rise in rental rates to slow by year-end 2008. Chip Clarke, president of Transwestern's Gulf Coast and Mountain regions, said the growth in the energy sector and diversity among other sectors puts Houston in a good position to weather uncertainties in the financial markets. The TrendLines Group res ...

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Houston Economy -- Medical and Health Related Sectors

Houston, the home of the World's largest medical center, is getting bigger.The Texas Medical Center in Houston is in the midst of the largest expansion in its 60-year history, with planned projects through 2014 totaling more than $7 billion, officials announced this month. The center's square footage is already greater than the square footage of downtown El Paso, Fort Worth and San Antonio combined.According to U.S. Census projections, Houston's population is estimated to grow by two million residents in the next two decades and the medical center's planned growth is keeping pace with the city's future needs. The construction of new hospitals, clinics, research labs and other facilities is projected to create 30,000 more jobs over the next seven years, which will include high-paying quality jobs. The newly passed amendment this month to the Texas State constitution to create and fund the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to the tune of $300 million a year for 10 years will be a boon to Houston ...

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Houston Logistics Industry Is Top Rated In The Nation

Houston, Texas -among the elite in the logistics industry in the US and receives five stars in seven of the 10 major logistics categories. In their seventh annual study released this month, Expansion Management and Logistics Today magazines identifies the metro areas that can provide manufacturing companies with the strongest and most robust logistics infrastructure. For the past seven years, Expansion Management and Logistics Today magazines have partnered to produce what they call their annual Logistics Quotient™ ranking of the most logistics-friendly cities in the United States. As in years past, the study takes a look at the 362 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) established by the Office of Management and Budget and compares them according to 10 major categories: the overall transportation & warehousing industry climate, work force/labor costs/availability/skill levels; road/highway basic infrastructure; road density and congestion; road and bridge conditions; interstate highway acce ...

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Houston Businesses Continuing to Fuel Economy - Add Jobs

Houston Businesses keep economic engine pumping, maintaining the City's position as one of the fastest growing employment cities in the U.S.Texas was fifth in the nation for August non-farm job gains, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.Employment in the Houston Metropolitan Area was up by 8,600 jobs in August compared with July and by 64,400 compared with August 2006. The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, down from 4.6 percent in July and 5 percent in August 2006 according to Texas Workforce Commission September 2007 report.In Texas as a whole the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent in August, down last month’s 4.4 percent, and down significantly from 4.9 percent a year ago. Employment in Texas remains strong, despite the U.S. economy’s loss of 4,000 jobs this month. Texas employers have added 229,000 jobs in the past year.The job figures indicate relatively good economic health in Texas even as the national economy appears vulnerable to a slowdown."The state economy is still growing strongly," sa ...

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Houston's Economy Forecasted for Healthy Growth Into 2009

Since 2005 Houston has been enjoying employment growth at a higher percentage rate than the rest of the U.S. and is anticipated to keep the city's economic engine running. Houston Ranks Third in Employment Growth in U.S. After peaking late in 2006, the Houston economy has steadily lost momentum over the past six months. Despite this recoil, Houston still ranks high (in third place) among the 25 largest metro areas in the U.S. in terms of job growth, (+3.1% year over year in June 2007). Major sectors contributing to this strength include construction (+7.0% year over year), professional and business services (+4.4%) and leisure and accommodation services (+4.4%). The Energy/Petrochemical Sector is the Key Driver The key driver of Houston’s economy over the past two-and-a-half years has been the energy and petrochemicals sector, which is also the metro area’s major employer. High oil prices and healthy growth of profits in the industry have led to a surge in oil exploration, as well as ...

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Rocketing Houston Economy -- Small Business 101

Ayn Rand's John Galt could not have built a better machine than Houston's sturdy economic engine of today. In her epic novel, "Atlas Shrugged," published 50 years ago, manufacturing and transportation were Rand's focal points in the plot to stop the engine of the world. She understood the importance of business growth, entrepreneurialism, and free market capitalism. "Texas is a land of buccaneering capitalism." (The Economist, 12/19/02). In addition to having a low cost of living and a great quality of life, Texas has one of the nation's most favorable business environments. According to Forbes' new 2007 rankings published this month, Texas is in the Top five best states for business for the second year running. Another media outlet, CNBC, a financial news cable channel, this month designated Texas as the #2 state for business in their July 2007 press release. CNBC evaluated each state on 40 measures of competitiveness in 10 categories: Cost of doing business, work force, economy, education, quality of lif ...

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Houston is the Ultimate Dynamist City - Open for Business

Houston is Booming -- It's Not Only the Weather That's Hot Down Here. And it is "blooming" as well. As a further testament to the greatness of Houston and its buccaneering nature, read this Chronicle Op-Ed article by Tory Gattis. Viewpoints, Outlook Section Houston Chronicle June 10, 2007 BLOOMTOWN HOUSTON Ours is an opportunity city with a style uniquely its own. Let's quit wishing we were something else and let Houston be Houston. By TORY GATTIS Houston is at a turning point. With a boost from noted urbanist Joel Kotkin, our city has begun recasting its national reputation from "that ugly, sprawling, weird city without zoning" to the exemplar city for "Opportunity Urbanism," a compelling new paradigm for cities in the 21st century. This paradigm asserts that the fundamental (but recently forgotten) core mission of cities is to accelerate the upward social and economic mobility of its inhabitants. This may sound obvious to the average person, but in the wonkish world of urban policy and plan ...

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Texas Is No. 2 Place For Retiring Baby Boomers

Watch out, Florida! Texas has emerged as the No. 2 retirement mecca in the country. The Lone Star State has vaulted over Arizona and California and is gaining on the Sunshine State. The North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement, which is nationally known for tracking retirement migration trends, studied 2005 data from the U.S. Census Bureau on the number of Americans who move out of state to enjoy their golden years. "Older Americans who are looking to relocate upon retirement continue to move to sunny climes, but Texas has gained an edge over other Sun Belt states," said Bill Haas, the study's author. "Texas' lower living costs give it a distinct advantage." Texas' economy is among the better state economies in the country. In fact, Houston is No. 3 Business-Friendly City in the Nation. It has benefitted from the State's pro-growth policies, including no state income tax. Texas' natural attributes also appeal to boomers who plan to move when their first careers are over. Boomers are looking for war ...

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More Buyers Are Looking For Small Business Acquisitions in Houston

Investment groups and baby boomer corporate executives looking to get into action with companies of their own are making small businesses hot prospects these days. Buyers have money to spend and are turning more frequently to the local landscaping company or delivery company as good investments. There's no question that Houston-area small businesses are becoming more frequent targets for seasoned buyers currently combing the marketplace for investment opportunities. Houston's business-friendly climate is an attractive incentive for these categories of buyers who are more sophisticated about gauging the risks of acquiring small businesses. As a result, they are going after privately-held, well-oiled enterprises with an annual profit of at least $100,000. Manufacturing, trucking, distribution, and service-sector businesses are a few on the list of popular targets. Proof that the buying spree has heated up in Houston is partly in the growing ranks of business owners consulting with business brokerage firms ...

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Houston Small Business Owners Confident In Current Economic Climate

Administaff Announces Results of Business Survey and Compensation Data HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)Nearly 86% of small business owners say their companies are either growing as predicted or at a faster pace than forecasted, according to a Business Confidence Survey released May 8, 2007 by Administaff, with Headquarters located in Houston and a leading provider of human resources services for small and medium-sized businesses.Most of the companies – 81% – said they were positive about business conditions for the remainder of 2007, with 46% saying they plan to hire more new employees this year than they added in 2006. To fill positions, 52% said they are hiring full-time employees, while 16% said they planned to hire part-time workers.Administaff also released compensation data compiled from its client base of more than 5,700 small and medium-sized businesses throughout the country. A comparison of first-quarter data against the same period in 2006 shows that average compensation is up 6.6%.“It’s clear from the sur ...

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Houston and The Realignment of America

The Wall Street Journal had a quite long and comprehensive op-ed a couple of days agao titled "The Realignment of America" on demographic shifts since 2000. While getting the link, I also noted it has been one of the most popular - and the most emailed - stories that day at WSJ. The graphic is pretty cool, and makes it look like everybody is headed to Texas (or maybe Arkansas?). He analyzes the top 50 US metros, and puts them into four categories: Start with the Coastal Megalopolises: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago (on the coast of Lake Michigan), Miami, Washington and Boston. Here is a pattern you don't find in other big cities: Americans moving out and immigrants moving in, in very large numbers, with low overall population growth.... This is something few would have predicted 20 years ago. Americans are now moving out of, not into, coastal California and South Florida, and in very large numbers they're moving out of our largest metro areas. They're fleeing hip Boston a ...

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Boomers vs. Gen Y Business Owners -- Survey by Amex

We report on economic conditions and other issues that affect the Small Business Community and its future outlook. This survey is important because it is essentially an interview with the generations that hold, in their hands, the future impact of small business on our economy. The outlook is encouraging. Let's preface the Survey with why Small Business is so important to our economy. Small Businesses make up 97% of America's exporters and produce 26% of all export value. (Fred Smith, FedEx Corp. CEO May 2006) Small Businesses employ 50 percent of the country's private sector workforce (U.S. SBA June 2006) Small Businesses have generated 60 to 80% of net new jobs annually over the last decade (U.S. SBA June 2006) The estimated 25.8 million Small Businesses in the United States represent 99.7% of all employer firms. (U.S. SBA June 2006) In a Head-to-Head Match-Up Generations Agree Experience Gives Boomers the Advantage in Business; Gen Y More Passionate but Baby Boom ...

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Houston -- #3 Business-Friendly City in the Nation

Business is thriving in Houston........and No Wonder! Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, located in a culturally diverse metropolitan region of 4.8 million residents – and growing at more than twice the national pace. It has a low cost of living, a well trained and educated workforce, has one of the largest ports in the nation for the expansion into the international marketplace, has no state income tax, and is one of the top business-friendly states in the nation. Houston is booming and is ranked #3 best Metro Area for doing business by Forbes.com. Texas has the #6 best Business Tax Climate in the nation according to the Tax Foundation's 2007 State Business Tax Climate Index. The Tax Foundation, established in 1937 in Washington, D.C., provides unbiased tax information and presents facts and figures to educate the public about America's tax burdens and its impact on our economy. As reported by the Texas Workforce Commission (3/8/07), Houston's job growth rate was double t ...

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Houston is Booming -- It's Not Only the Weather That's Hot Down Here

"Texas is a land of buccaneering capitalism."- The Economist, 12/19/02 In addition to having a low cost of living and a great quality of life, Texas has one of the nation's most favorable business environments. By 2030 the U.S. Census Bureau projects Texas population will increase by 60 percent compared with 2000 and will be one of the three other states that account for nearly one-half of total U.S. population growth between 2000 and 2030. So........with all the environmental infrastructure in place, it's not surprising that we're off to a running start. Noted in New York Times article last week, Houston is experiencing its strongest resurgence in more than 20 years. The article cites energy, real estate development, and real estate investment as leading the way for the boom. There are, however, many other drivers contributing to the diverse economic health of Houston. The international trade and logistics sector is trucking along in the speed zone and will not be putting on the brakes anytim ...

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More Fuel for Houston's Sizzling International Trade and Logistics Market

"Companies to service cargo and vessels at the Port of Houston and along the Houston Ship Channel will be in high demand for the foreseeable future and will continue to provide impetus to our city's economic vitality." -- Above is a quote from one of my posts earlier this month touting Houston Growth in International Trade and Logistics. Another major firm expanding operations to Houston's commerce hub Marlink, an international satellite communications provider, announced this week a visible step in its global business strategy. It is opening a Regional Headquarters operations center in Houston to meet growing demand from its maritime and offshore industry customers throughout North and South America. It will be located near the South Shore Harbor complex, with access to the ports of Houston, Galveston and the primary offshore oil and gas support bases in Louisiana. (Full Article in Houston Business Journal: "Marlink Picks Houston for Americas Headquarters" 03/12/2007) Houston's Gulf Coast has lon ...

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Immigrant Entrepreneurs Spark Houston's Economy

I recently posted a press release article citing the increased number of acquisition inquiries that business brokers in Houston are experiencing from business owners in foreign countries. It seems that Houston is not alone. The Center for an Urban Future, a New York City-based think tank, in a press release February 6, 2007, revealed a major new study indicating that immigrant entrepreneurs have become increasingly powerful economic engines for cities. The report, titled "A World of Opportunity: Understanding & Tapping the Economic Potential of Immigrant Entrepreneurs,” documents that immigrant entrepreneurs are starting a greater share of new businesses than native-born residents. The study takes an in-depth look at immigrant-owned businesses in New York City, Los Angeles, Houston and Boston. Based on 18 months of research, this study is built upon extensive data analysis, focus groups conducted with immigrant business owners and economic development experts, and interviews with business owne ...

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Houston Economy Surpasses Expectations -- Stirs Small Business Activity

Job and Population Growth Bode Well for Small Business in Houston as its Economy Expands A revised report issued on March 8, 2007 by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), says Houston's job growth rate was a full percentage point higher than the initial estimate released seven weeks ago. Houston's 4.2 percent job growth during 2006 is well above the 2.6 percent growth statewide. The biggest revisions from the initial report were increased growth rates at the professional, higher-paying job levels in manufacturing, architecture and engineering, and computer systems jobs. This TWC report redoubles the U.S. Census Bureau December 2006 report indicating that Texas saw its population grow by 579,275 - the biggest increase in the nation. The higher-than-national-average growth rates are the result of favorable business conditions in Texas. The state ranks second on Forbes' list of best states for doing business and is ranked the 9th Friendliest Entrepreneurial Environment in the U.S. by the Small Business ...

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Beneficial Entrepreneurial Immigration on the Rise in Houston

HOUSTON, TX (PRWEB) February 7, 2007 - As the prospects of political turmoil and economic instability develop in Latin America, Houston business brokers see increased inquiries about buying a business. Business Brokers in Houston, Texas, are noticing an increase in activity as some countries in Latin America experience political turmoil with leftist governments taking Office. The number of inquiries from various countries has increased substantially as nationalization measures are announced in Venezuela and other leftist Governments in the region. “Up to last year, the number of foreign nationals that contacted our office, other than the traditional investor, was composed primarily of people that were interested in making an acquisition or purchasing a business in order to move to the United States primarily for personal security or medical reasons. Recently though, people want to leave because of political and economic instability. The number of inquiries has consistently been growing as ...

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Houston Growth in International Trade and Logistics

Former Chairman of SCORE® Houston, a Nonprofit Organization, Takes Mission to Private Sector -- the Small Business Marketplace HOUSTON, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 21, 2007 -- After serving three years as Chair and Vice Chair of Houston Chapter of SCORE®, Thomas Pence, an expert in global trade and logistics, shifts back into the small business marketplace to take part in Houston's dynamic growth in international trade and distribution by joining Certified Business Brokers, the largest business brokerage firm in Houston. Increased international trade is spurring development of industrial properties in the Port of Houston areas to support operations of warehousing, containerization, and distribution hubs. In addition, many logistics and distribution companies are either relocating to Houston or are expanding their operations into the Houston market. The recently opened Bayport Terminal is recognized as the most state-of-the-art container terminal in the US and will triple Houston's existing ...

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