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IFB: UK govt needs to support family firms

By Attracta Mooney

The British government must get behind family firms and avoid policy changes that would have a “severely detrimental” impact on the family business sector.

That’s according to the lobby group Institute for Family Business, which recently contacted UK business minister Mark Prisk about its concerns.

It follows negative media reports, which were based on research for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, that suggested family-run firms were the UK’s weak economic link.

“The IFB is most disappointed that this report on the BIS website, which analyses management capabilities in manufacturing companies, recommends policy changes that if implemented would have a severely detrimental on the family business sector,” said the IFB in its letter to Prisk.

It comes after another recent report for BIS, the Mid-Sized Business Review, found that family businesses showed steady performance and prudent financial management.

The family business sector is “playing a robust role at the forefront of driving the UK economic recovery”, said a spokesman for the IFB, adding that the organisation wants to meet with Prisk to discuss “further ways the sector can play its part”.

"The IFB would like to hear more from BIS about its long-term policy on the family business sector as we feel that many family-owned businesses are the hidden champions of the UK economy," he said.

Family businesses employ 9.2 million people in the UK and turn over in excess of £1.1 trillion (€1.3 trillion), according to the IFB’s latest research, produced by Oxford Economics.  

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