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Bringing the family business community together

Statistics Prove Family Businesses Are The Backbone of Britain

26th November 2013 Paul Andrews

The figures stand up for themselves, the UK is full of family firms!

According to figures from BIS/Oxford Economics there are 2,959,346 family firms across the UK out of a total of 4,484,540 private sector businesses in total.  So, family firms in the UK account for 66% of private sector firms in the UK.  Clear evidence, if any statistical evidence was needed, that family firms are the backbone of the UK economy, and supporting the continual mantra that it is growth in family firms that will help to make Britain great once more.

Family firms exist the length and breadth of the UK as the following shows, with the most in the South East but it is in Northern Ireland and the East Midlands where the concentration in terms of private sector firms is highest overall:

  1. South East - 498,874 family businesses (68.10% of private sector firms)

  2. London - 465,665 family businesses (65.90% of private sector firms)

  3. North West - 301,603 family businesses (69.50% of private sector firms)

  4. East of England - 297,965 family businesses (62.90% of private sector firms)

  5. South West - 249,804 family businesses (59.30% of private sector firms)

  6. East Midlands - 237,608 family businesses (77.70% of private sector firms)

  7. Yorkshire & Humber - 213,251 family businesses (63.50% of private sector firms)

  8. West Midlands - 204,098 family businesses (58.00% of private sector firms)

  9. Scotland - 178,573 family businesses (62.00% of private sector firms)

  10. Wales - 131,188 family businesses (68.40% of private sector firms)

  11. Northern Ireland - 94,146 family businesses (77.80% of private sector firms)

  12. North East - 86,573 family businesses (70.90% of private sector firms)

    Source - BIS/Oxford Economics, Regional Distribution of Family Businesses, 2010

Clearly, family firms make a contribution and it is great to see the powers that be taking stock and beginning to consider the needs of this vibrant and dynamic sector of the Uk economy.

Over the past ten or so years, more and more positive media attention has been given to the sector and whilst there is a significant number of smaller family firms across the UK, their combined contribution should not go under-estimated in terms of the income, employment and tax revenues they generate, as well as the contribution and support they provide to their local communities too. 

Add to these the number of household names that remain in family ownership, the likes of Wates, Warburtons, Arnold Clark, Baxters, Walkers Shortbread, JCB, The Goring Hotel, The Morgan Motor Company and Wing Yip and you begin to appreciate the scale of the sector, and the size of some of the businesses that operate as family firms too.

Family firms are part of what makes Britain 'great!'

 

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