— a large internet business sale marketplace — recently released its report on business sale activty for the third quarter of 2009. The report suggests that the state of the small business economy is finally beginning to improve.

The report shows a 24% year-over-year drop in closed small business transactions. While still lagging behind year-ago transaction numbers, the  report for the second quarter of 2009 showed a dramatic 50% decline in closed business sale transactions when compared to the same time period in 2008. Closed transactions are reported by business brokers nationwide.

The data also supports the rebound in the business sale marketplace. The number of closed deals reported in the third quarter increased by 7.4% as compared to second quarter transactions. Just one year earlier, when the recession was hitting its stride, that same quarter-over-quarter statistic dropped 30%.

“After many bleak months for the small business-for-sale economy, the market seems to have hit bottom and is fortunately now beginning to turn around,” says Mike Handelsman of BizBuySell. “As credit eases, business fundamentals recover and SBA lending criteria change with respect to goodwill, we are optimistic that the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2010 will show increased signs of recovery and growth.”

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