Resilient family businesses key to Australia’s economic recovery

Australian family businesses will be essential to any meaningful recovery from the COVID-19 recession due to the vital role they play within the nation’s economy. Family businesses make up over 70 per cent of Australian businesses and employ approximately 50 per cent of the Australian workforce.

Activity among family businesses has a greater impact on Australia’s economy due to high Australian business ownership – money spent with family businesses tends to stay within our communities, making family business a powerhouse provider of our nation’s jobs.

Recent research suggests family-owned businesses have shown greater resilience during COVID-19’s economic turmoil.

This doesn’t mean family businesses have not suffered during the current downturn. Forced lockdowns, coupled with lower consumer spending, means that many family-owned Australian businesses are facing the most challenging business environment in living memory.

We have a choice, as business partners and consumers, to support family businesses by looking for the A family owned Australian business emblem, which adorns some of Australia’s best known brands including Paspaley Pearls, Wittner Shoes, Luxey Cup and Ella Bache.

Higher performing, more resilient

Research suggests family businesses have been more resilient during 2020, partly due to a propensity to look longer term than other businesses.

Credit Suisse Research says family businesses have “above average defensive characteristics” which make them more resilient and able to keep performing during times of market stress. Credit Suisse says family businesses globally have outperformed non-family companies by around three per cent for the first six months of 2020 (outperformance was 5.1 per cent for the Asia-Pacific Region excluding Japan).

Australian family businesses in particular have been high achievers, delivering an average 23 per cent outperformance over non-family businesses annually since 2006, according to Credit Suisse, which says family businesses also tend to be more profitable.

Australian family businesses have another advantage over other businesses: Trust. The Edelman Trust Barometer found family owned Australian businesses are more trusted than their corporate competitors: its 2019 Barometer found 75 per cent of respondents trust Family Businesses in Australia, versus 52 per cent trust in general businesses.

Family Business Australia (FBA) is hosting its National Family Business Day on 18 September, celebrating the contribution family businesses make to Australian business and culture.

It’s important to acknowledge family-owned Australian businesses, to celebrate and rally around these businesses as they continue to trade, innovate and support their communities.

As we navigate through this pandemic, it’s important to support family businesses as they will be the key drivers towards a sustainable economic recovery. If you own a family business, consider joining thousands of brands who display the A family owned Australian business emblem, including Carman’s Kitchen, Haigh’s Chocolates, Kennards Hire, Haymes Paint and so many more.

Many consumers and business partners take comfort in the emblem, which is displayed on products, shop fronts and other signage, as they know money spent with these businesses keeps the wealth within our country, and jobs within our local communities.

Greg Griffith, CEO, Family Business Australia and New Zealand

Family Business Australia is a valued partner of Inside Small Business