Family Firms Crucial To UK Recovery

by Laura Farrall on September 23 2021

Family firms across the UK are the very heart of the nation and as a family firm ourselves we are delighted to be taking part in National Family Business Day 2020.

Family firms come in all sizes and sectors and many have been around for hundreds of years, successfully passing from generation to generation.  In fact the oldest direct lineage family firm dates back to 1515, RJ Balson the butchers on the High Street in Bridport which is now in the 26th generation and clearly demonstrates that family firms have the ability to last successfully for generations.  Family firms can be found the length and breadth of the UK and they are the fabric of the communities in which they operate, providing jobs, income, creating wealth and supporting communities.

As a sector, family firms really are the engine room of the UK economy with around 5 million family firms in the UK today providing more than 13 million jobs and accounting for around 25% of GDP.  Clearly, the family business sector is a force to be reckoned with and one that deserves to be recognised.  We are proud to be a family business and to have been in operation since 1956 when founders Eddie & Joan Farrall started Edwin C Farrall Transport.

Organised annually by Family Business United, the award-winning magazine and resource centre for family firms, the event is now in its eighth year and continues to grow year on year.  As Paul Andrews, founder of Family Business United explains, “This is a real day to celebrate the family business sector, businesses at the very heart of the nation and across all sectors of the economy too.  Every part of life on a daily business is supported by family firms from the food and drink we consume, to the places we visit, the hotels we stay in, the homes we live in and the products that we use such as cars, hospitals and gyms.  This diverse sector deserves to be recognised and National Family Business Day is a great way to put the sector on the map.”

“The past couple of years has been far from easy but family firms across the UK have shown their strength and resilience, adapting to the changing circumstances in which they found new ways of working.  Many have developed new routes to markets, new strategies and continued to invest in their businesses, be it through technology, people or processes.  Family firms have responded well and demonstrated their entrepreneurial spirit and desire and passion to succeed.”

As Paul continues, “Family firms have a story to tell, a real narrative borne out of families working in business together, creating a legacy that will hopefully endure for generations.  It is this that makes family businesses special along with the underlying values such as passion, drive, integrity and desire to do the right thing time and time again.  It may not have been the easiest of years but a day focusing on the family business sector will provide a great opportunity to show our support for the sector.”

Matthew and Kat Farrall are Directors and the third generation to lead the family business, Farrall's Group, and they explain why being a family business is important to them “As we celebrate our 65th year of being a #FamilyBusiness, it is more important than ever for us to celebrate our family values & heritage and what better way than to join in on #GBFamilyBizDay!”

“Being a family business is a huge part of who we are, and our values of trust, honesty and respect not only apply to our team but to our customers as well. It is this that gives our business such a unique dynamic – we know that we can go to our employees for trusted advice, and they can come to us in return.”

“There are many fantastic family businesses in our industry and through the Transport Association and in general daily workings we partner with several of them, knowing they give a service that is reliable, professional, and backed by a handshake from likeminded people,” they conclude.

As Paul concludes, “FBU is all about the family business sector and it is a real privilege to champion family firms each and every day.  Family firms are special, they are the backbone of the UK economy and will be for generations to come and we look forward to showcasing the diversity of the sector on National Family Business Day this year.  They will also form an integral part of the recovery of the nation post pandemic and deserve all the support and recognition that a day like National Family Business Day brings.”

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