It takes a creative and determined buyer to purchase a small business in today’s lending environment. If there’s any doubt that small-business lending has yet to recover in any meaningful way, look no further than Ami Kassar’s new contribution to this blog: Searching for Capital. While frozen credit markets have made it difficult for small businesses to get loans for expansion and working capital, they have also had a major impact on the business-for-sale marketplace.
Linda Jamerson and her husband, Ken McDonald, are typical of many who have tried to buy an existing small business in the last three years. Like most business buyers the couple wanted to work for themselves. But as high wage earners they also wanted to replace their income as soon as possible, which is why they decided to buy an existing business rather than start one. The couple spent two years looking for the right business — that’s the industry average, by the way — and had two deals fall through before finding an ideal opportunity in Chicago, the Aluminum Case Company.