Family Businesses: The bedrock of communities and the backbone of the UK economy
21 September 2016
The UK’s family businesses come in all sizes, from all sectors and from all over the country. Many of these firms have been in existence for hundreds of years, passing from generation to generation, with their longevity the result of good governance, innovative family ownership and a focus on the long term that has resulted in them becoming the bedrock of communities across the UK. Others may be younger in age, but share similar values and are building forward-looking family firms of the future.
Studies in the past decade have shown that around 4 million firms are family controlled and that family businesses in the UK account for around 25% of UK GDP, over 12 million jobs and contribute significantly to the tax revenues too. It is also recognised that the greatest part of Britain’s wealth is held within family businesses and that the family business sector is therefore a force to be reckoned with. Research undertaken by Family Business United (‘FBU’) identified in 2015 that £49 billion of revenue alone was generated by the 20 largest family firms in the UK.
Family firms across the UK today are a far cry from the ‘ma and pa’ image of small lifestyle businesses that are often portrayed in the media – they are big employers, create wealth for their employees (many of whom have had generations of the same family working in the business) and invest significantly in the communities in which they operate.
The contribution made by the family business sector in the UK is significant and deserves to be recognised. National Family Business Day 2016 is a nationwide campaign to put the family business sector on the map, organised by FBU, the award-winning magazine and resource centre for the global family business community that was founded by Paul Andrews. National Family Business Day 2016 seeks to put the family business sector on the map, recognise the diversity of the sector and provide an opportunity to celebrate all things family business.
Family firms have to deal with specific issues associated with their family ownership and it is the relationship dynamics that make them special, and of course, can create unique tensions that are not found in their non-family counterparts. Family businesses that recognise these challenges, develop good governance procedures and focus on the sustainability of the business for the long term, innovating as necessary to keep the business relevant, have the greatest chances of remaining for generations to come.
Successful family firms focus on the business and take a long term view, and with a significant number of family business owners looking to retire in the next decade, succession planning and the development of the next generation of family business leaders remains a key item on the family business agenda. National Family Business Day 2016 is a chance to share best practice, identify the resources available and to provide assistance to family businesses across the UK on the next stage of their journey, as well as championing the cause and recognising the contribution that these businesses make. Family firms are the backbone of the UK economy and we hope they remain so for generations to come.
PwC is delighted to be supporting National Family Business Day 2016. Our recent win at the Step Society Awards: Family Business Advisory team of 2016/17 affirms our passion for working with family business.
Sian Steele, PwC partner and family business leader, said:
'PwC is passionate about working with family business who are too often the unsung heroes of the global economy, significantly contributing to GDP and providing stable employment for millions, it really is a privilege to work alongside them and support their endeavours. It's fantastic family businesses are getting well deserved recognition and the opportunity to celebrate their heritage, their businesses and their contribution to the UK through National Family Business day.'
Share how you are celebrating National Family Business Day 2016 by commenting below this post or on social media via #GBFamilyBizDay2016.
To find out more about our Family Business team and how we can help your business, get in touch with Sian or one of the team.
Email: Sian Steele
Tel: +44 (0)122 355 2226