Business pickings still ripe

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By PHILIP CHANDLER

With Covid decimating Queenstown’s high-profile tourism industry, you mightn’t think a local business broker would be going for broke.

But for Arrowtowner Kevin Peterson, who’s been Tabak Business Sales’ Otago/Southland broker for the past five years, pickings have been good.

Buyer demand is in fact up, he says.

That’s from a combination of expats returning home, people who’ve lost their jobs and those who see very limited returns for money in the bank.

Some have thrown money into the sharemarket or housing but, he says, ‘‘strong businesses will ive you a hell of a lot better return than even houses, probably, because it’s more of a long-term thing’’.

Peterson says Tabak’s never been strong in tourism or hospitality, ‘‘because that’s always had a few hooks and hiccups, whereas mainstream business, whether it be manufacturing or distribution or engineering or the building industry, it’s got a hell of a lot better track record’’.

‘‘You look down [Queenstown’s] Glenda Drive, Industrial Place, everybody here, apart from those directly involved with tourism, is growing strongly.

‘‘The trades are certainly going well with all the developments out at Hanley’s Farm, etc.

‘‘Bunnings aren’t building a bloody huge monstrosity for nothing, are they?’’

Peterson guesses about half the owners in the trades sector won’t have a clue what their business is worth, which is where he can help, he says.

In many cases, they’ve probably been in a business a long time and aren’t, he suggests, realising its full potential.

‘‘The majority of businesses we sell have all got upsides, that’s where the rubber hits the road and you’ve got a happy buyer.’’

Peterson’s got a special interest in the franchise sector, owning the Video Ezy franchise for 25 years.

Having also been a chartered accountant before that, he says business broking’s the perfect mix of his skills.

scoop@scene.co.nz