Business Owners in Charlotte: 2015 Expectations
The future looks bright for buyers and sellers of small businesses in the Southeast.
As 2014 comes to an end and having experienced our busiest year yet, the future for business owners and the Charlotte market only looks brighter. Charlotte’s economy is predicted to continue skyrocketing, with the population expected to double before 2040 and banks continuing to enter the market looking to lend. Charlotte is now ranked as the 2nd Fastest Growing Large City in America*, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and has experienced a 40% population increase since the 2000 census. The rapid population increase, along with economic development and the current unemployment rate of 6.3% create what we call a “Seller’s Market”, thus giving small business owners who are looking to sell, a great advantage.
While Charlotte was unarguably affected by the 2009 recession, other American cities such as Los Angeles and New York City, were hit harder and have since seen an exodus of people, many of whom came to the Carolina’s to try and rebuild. While businesses in Charlotte suffered during the recession, the census shows that the population continued on a steady incline with Mecklenburg leading as the fastest growing county in North Carolina. It took some time, but our economy has recovered from the recession and banks are lending more frequently than ever before and with the lowest interest rates of all time. This allows buyers to obtain loans with greater ease and for higher values, giving the seller an advantage because the buyer pool is plentiful and SBA backed loans are not as difficult to secure. The current unemployment rate equates to more people in the market looking to buy a thriving business as opposed to finding a corporate job, giving the seller a vast network of buyers to choose from. This does not even include strategic buyers and private equity groups, which we will cover in another article.
Due to an ever-increasing population and a higher frequency in SBA loans, 2015 is going to be a fabulous year for small business owners in the Southeast. With more people comes more retail, restaurants, businesses and entertainment and these amenities will continue to build the Charlotte economy and create new opportunities. As the Queen City becomes more vibrant, private equity groups, strategic buyers and business owners looking to expand will become increasingly interested in Charlotte, thus, creating a greater buyer network for a seller looking to step out of the business. If you’ve been thinking about selling for some time now, this could be the best year for you to make a move. Keep your resolutions this year and sell the business you have worked hard to build. You have earned it! Don’t wait – act now and you will thank yourself in 2015.
*Largest city defined as over 500,000 in population.