The recovery of family businesses from the pandemic will be crucial in the rebuilding of the UK economy, according to not-for-profit membership organisation IFB Research Foundation (IFBRF).
The IFBRF’s latest report revealed that family firms were in rude health before the onset of the pandemic. Its research found that in 2019, family businesses made up almost 30% of the UK’s national income.
In the same year, more than 100,000 new family businesses were created across the UK, with 5.2 million family firms in total, employing more than 14 million people.
Sir Michael Bibby, Chairman of the IFB Research Foundation, said: “This latest report from the IFB Research Foundation shows how, before the Covid-19 pandemic, family businesses were playing a critical role in the UK economy. The evidence highlights how the sector had been performing well and was largely optimistic about the future.
“The pandemic is likely to have had a dramatic impact on the outlook, and expectations of many UK small and medium-sized enterprises and this report will give us a great base from which to analyse the changes especially given some of the sectors in which family firms are most concentrated have been those hardest hit by Covid-19.”
IFB Director General Elizabeth Bagger added: “This report from the IFB Research Foundation clearly shows how significant family businesses are to the strength, stability, and success of UK private enterprise. Before the pandemic, family businesses were growing exponentially. Family firms are the driving force across all regions, communities, and sectors of the UK and as such, are pivotal to the future prosperity of the country as we emerge from the pandemic. We must therefore ensure that family businesses are supported to recover and grow.”
She said that government-funded initiatives such as Evolve Digital, run by the Lancaster University Management School and part of a national research study aimed at feeding into government policy on small family businesses, should prove useful in helping businesses navigate the changing landscape.
“Supporting the adoption of new technologies can help family firms improve their processes and foster innovation, with the move towards these new technologies a trend which has been accelerated by the pandemic.”
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