New report reveals economic importance of family businesses

Family businesses have significantly boosted turnover from £1.3 trillion to £1.4 trillion – accounting for 35% of the UK’s private sector turnover for the entire year

Family business is the backbone of the UK economy, according to new research which has revealed the important role it plays in driving overall growth and development – particularly in Scotland.
The annual UK Family Business Sector Report – compiled by Oxford Economics for the Institute for Family Business (IFB) Research Foundation – documents how family firms are continuing to cement their position as the bedrock of the UK economy as the sector grows to 4.7 million businesses nationwide.
According to the publication, family businesses in Scotland account for 92% of all private sector firms, which include the likes of Grants, Baxters, Tunnock’s, and DC Thomson.
There are nearly 310,000 family run firms in Scotland in total – making up over one in 10 of all family businesses across the UK.
Elizabeth Bagger, IFB executive director, said: “This year’s report really reinforces the immense contribution family firms make to our economy and communities – especially here in Scotland, which has a buoyant and thriving family business network.
“Their stewardship and clear commitment to a strong and sustainable future is hugely inspiring, and the growth of the sector demonstrates that the strong values within family firms continue to deliver real social and economic benefits.”
The IFB says family firms are innovative, entrepreneurial and sustainable. Their continued investment and commitment to growth have seen the creation of  300,000 new jobs since 2014, boosting the family business sector’s overall employment figure to 12.2 million – almost half (47%) of all private sector employment and more than a third (36%) of the UK’s entire workforce.
Family businesses have also significantly boosted turnover from £1.3 trillion to £1.4 trillion – accounting for 35% of the UK’s private sector turnover for the entire year.
Bagger added: “Whether it’s that top 10% of our country’s largest firms, or the small local businesses we all engage with each and every day, family firms are here to stay and it is crucial that their value is recognised and championed.
“In addition, family businesses are fantastic incubators of entrepreneurial and innovative talent.  They are keen to continue to invest, grow and create jobs. Long term thinking is at the heart of everything family businesses do, and access to appropriate long term finance has been a challenge for some family firms. We are, therefore, pleased to see the Government announce a review into Patient Capital and long term funding options, and we will work to make sure the needs of family firms are recognised in that.”
The IFB has an active network of members in Scotland who meet regularly for events, workshops, family business site visits and networking.
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