National Family Business Day: celebrating the backbone of our economy

National Family Business Day on Tuesday, September 19, recognises the great contribution family businesses make to the Australian economy, community and culture. The day is organised by Family Business Australia (FBA), the peak body for family businesses in Australia.

The importance of family businesses to Australia are illustrated by these statistics:

  • Family businesses account for approximately 70 per cent of all businesses in Australia – estimated at half a million businesses.
  • Approximately 50 per cent of the Australian workforce is employed in family businesses.
  • Australian family business sector is worth approximately $4.3 trillion.
  • The average family business has a turnover of $12 million, and employs 37 people.

Greg Griffith, CEO of FBA, says the National Family Business Day is about unsung heroes.

“With half of the workforce employed by family businesses, they have long been the backbone to Australia’s economy and deserve more recognition for their contribution to our nation’s community and culture.

“Most family businesses are Australian-owned and at a grassroots level they provide the investment, workplaces and employment that make our cities and towns thrive. There are half a million family businesses nationwide, so it’s fair to say a healthy family-business sector equals a healthy economy.”

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman emphasises the contribution family businesses make to the economy. The Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, says that the family enterprise sector accounts for two in three businesses.

“The role family businesses play is an important one, as they employ more than 50 per cent of the Australian workforce,” she says.

“With up to 70 per cent of businesses being family enterprises, it’s crucial to recognise and celebrate the people who have made this sector flourish and grow.

“I urge people to shop local today and show your support for the family businesses in your community,” Carnell adds.

The major event for the Day is the announcement of new inductees into Family Business Australia’s family business Hall of Fame. Seven businesses are to be inducted this year.

“These are businesses which have made an outstanding contribution to their community, their industry and the economy over a long period of time”, Griffith says.

He says that the Hall of Fame inductees have an entrepreneurial spirit and he looks forward to congratulating our 2017 Hall of Fame inductees as they are announced on National Family Business Day. They will join some of Australia’s most iconic family business brands such as Scenic World, Akubra Hats, Haigh’s Chocolates, Maggie Bear, Coopers Brewery, Packer Leather, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and Freedom Pools & Spas.

Griffith says that every cent consumers spend on a family-owned Australian business products remains in our communities.

“Supporting family businesses has never been more important and we know Australians care as much about that as we do,” Griffith concludes.

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