The BizBen Index (www.bizben.com/stats/stats-total.php) provides statistics of small businesses that have been sold within California. The data goes back to 2007 and includes breakdown at both the county and city levels. These business sales were recorded by small business owners, business brokers, and agents throughout the state of California. Although not a complete list of every business sold, it is thought to be comprehensive enough to gauge trends.

Across the entire State, the number of businesses sold as tracked by BizBen decreased 7% in 2018 as compared to the prior year. This is about equal to the 2015 numbers and may indicate that an “over heated” market in 206 and 2017 may have ended.

Charting the BizBen Index for San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties separately, SD and Riverside show the same trend as the State data did, but Orange county showed a modest gain. As compared to the prior year, 2018 business sales in San Diego and Riverside counties were down 9% and Orange County rose 1%.

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Reserved optimism among both buyers and sellers seems to indicate that these numbers will continue to trend positive throughout 2019.