Baby boomer business owners preparing for retirement are driving a surge in the sale of small businesses, as they find more and more buyers confident enough in the improving economy to expand their own businesses through acquisitions.
In the first three months of this year, the number of sales that closed jumped 56 percent from the same time in 2012, according to BizBuySell.com, an online marketplace for small businesses. Retirement was the No. 1 contributor to business sales in the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of 2013. Buyers appear to be ready to step up and are looking for companies that will be good fit with their existing operations. Health-care related businesses like medical billing firms, pharmacies and even medical and dental practices are particularly in demand, says Keystone’s Richards. He’s seeing less interest in restaurants and retailers, industries where profit margins are thinner and where many companies are still struggling.
Sellers are benefiting from this trend because buyers are willing to pay more money if a deal will quickly get them into the markets they want to serve, says Mike Carter, CEO of BizEquity, a company that helps businesses calculate their sales price.
The JF-Kit House by the Spanish design firm Elii is an experiment in “domestic fitness,” rendering “the image of a possible future where citizens produce part of their domestic energy requirements with their own physical activities.” Each room features a fancifully named exercise station that would, theoretically, help create energy to power the home, including an “arm workout bureau,” a “spinning kitchen,” and a “triceps greenhouse.” A video shows the home’s imagined inhabitant lifting weights, cycling, and doing calisthenics as part of his house’s everyday upkeep and daily chores like cooking.
LED light bulbs are supposed to be more efficient and less expensive than regular light bulbs, but it seems that the quality of bulbs are unpredictable. Which brand should you use? How will it look in your family room, bedroom, or bathroom?
With over 7,000 LED light products on the market, it seems impossible to know where to begin. That’s where Bulbtrip.com can help. BulbTrip is a recent internet startup that compares thousands of LED prices (on quality, color, lifetime savings, and price) so that consumers can choose the ones that work best for them.
The website was actually created in one weekend, with its founders comparing models on Lighting Facts and Amazon.
Costco has garnered a passionate following around the world for its upscale shopping experience, discount prices, high-quality goods, ever-changing inventory and pleasant customer service. It’s the kind of place shoppers can find everything from cold cuts to televisions to a Cartier diamond watch, at discount warehouse prices.
The company has been looking at potential sites in the Buffalo Niagara area, real estate sources said, though a decision is not expected anytime soon. And it was reported this week that Costco is building a store in the Rochester area. The store is considered more upscale than Sam’s Club and BJ’s, offering a better overall shopping experience.
Costco is known to offer many product samples and product demonstrations throughout the store, and it has a liberal return policy.
Costco’s customer service is also routinely singled out for excellence. Costco’s employees earn an average of $17 per hour and have employer-paid health insurance, so turnover is low, and service is friendly and efficient.
Local real estate sources said Costco Wholesale has looked at a range of sites in the suburbs, from Tonawanda and Amherst to Cheektowaga. The retailer is working with Northwest Atlantic Realty, sources said.
The sites include the former BJ’s Warehouse site on Young Street in Tonawanda; the former Wegmans and other sites on Walden Avenue near the Thruway Plaza between Union Road and the Thruway; two sites on Transit Road, near Wehrle Drive and near Klein Road; and a site on Millersport Highway. Ellicott Development Co. has pitched a couple of properties as well, sources say.
But the company doesn’t appear close to a decision.
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s summer season will take the musicians to several of Western New York’s best public spaces and performing venues.
The BPO will perform 12 times, including several free outdoor concerts and the return of Summer [email protected]
• The summer season kicks off with the BPO’s return to Bidwell Park in the Elmwood Village on June 25 and Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora on June 27, each beginning at 7 p.m. These free, outdoor concerts will be conducted by Matthew Kraemer, and will feature a mix of Americana.
• At 7 p.m. June 29, the BPO will perform a concert at Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown. Matthew Kraemer conducts this concert of classical favorites, including works by Rossini, Copland, Dvorak and Beethoven, concluding with the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky. The concert is free for children younger than 6; $10 for students and $20 general admission. A family four-pack is available for $49. All tickets will be available through the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra box office at 885-5000 or www.bpo.org. Tickets include admission to the park.
• The BPO’s second season of Summer [email protected] will kick off at 7 p.m. July 6 with Tchaikovsky Spectacular, conducted by Matthew Kraemer. Audiences are invited to pack a picnic supper or sample the wares of the Buffalo food trucks and enjoy the grounds of the concert hall and its historic neighborhood setting.
Summer [email protected] will continue at 7 p.m. July 19 with A Tribute to Dave Brubeck. The jazz composer and pianist, credited with introducing jazz to the Baby Boom generation, was 91 when he died last year. The BPO will pay tribute to his legacy with a performance featuring the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, formed by his sons.
• The BPO and the Bisons continue their Independence Eve tradition on July 3, when the Bisons play the Rochester Red Wings at Coca-Cola Field starting at 6:05. After the game, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will take the field, joined by the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and led by Paul Ferington, for a program of patriotic favorites followed by a fireworks display. Tickets are available at www.bisons.com.
• Over a two-day period, the BPO will share its best with Western New York through a series of free performances at Canalside.
The afternoon of July 13 offers audiences a chance to see what orchestra members do when they’re not rehearsing for a concert. Chamber groups, jazz quartets, and percussion ensembles featuring BPO members are all on the schedule.
At 7 p.m. that day, the orchestra will perform a Broadway-themed concert with soloists Gary Mauer and Elizabeth Southard. The Broadway veterans are also husband and wife, and have played opposite one another in major touring productions of Showboat and Phantom of the Opera, as well as many symphonic engagements. On July 14, the BPO will hold an afternoon of instrument demonstrations, workshops and a superhero-themed concert, with music from X-Men, The Incredibles, Spiderman, Batman and more.
• The M&T Bank Plaza summer noontime concert series is celebrating its 44th year, and the Buffalo Philharmonic will once again perform. Paul Ferington will lead the orchestra on July 16 in this free outdoor concert.
• Artpark is celebrating a milestone year, and for its 40th anniversary, the BPO will perform with a host of special guests at 8 p.m. July 25, recreating the park’s 1973 opening concert. Buffalo native turned Broadway star Michele Ragusa will sing selections from Phantom of the Opera, Music Man and My Fair Lady. Eminent pianist Norman Krieger, once the winner of the BPO’s Young Artists Competition Prize, will perform Chopin’s Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brilliante. Dancers from the Festival Ballet of Providence and Neglia Ballet Artists will join the BPO onstage, dancing to selections from ballets by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.