"At a time when businesses are facing strong headwinds from economic uncertainty, family-run businesses in particular are feeling the pinch "
Owners of family businesses face bigger challenges than other SMEs in securing finance and being digitally adept to grow, according to research from Cynergy Bank.
Its research found that family business owners were more uncertain about the current economic outlook than non-family SMEs and also reported higher levels of anxiety about access to finance, with one in six saying it was a big challenge compared with one in ten non-family businesses.
Additionally, the number of family business owners saying they struggle to stay relevant in the digital age was almost twice that of non-family managed businesses. Attracting and retaining staff was also a challenge, with around one in five family firms saying it was a significant problem compared with about one in seven non-family firms.
Currently there are 4.7 million family-owned firms in the UK, contributing about £460 billion to UK GDP and employing approximately 12 million people.
Nick Fahy, chief executive of Cynergy Bank, said: “Family-run firms are at the heart of many communities around the UK and should be recognised for the significant contribution they make to our economy. At a time when businesses are facing strong headwinds from economic uncertainty, family-run businesses in particular are feeling the pinch when it comes to keeping pace with the digital revolution and obtaining finance for their businesses.”
Elizabeth Bagger, director general of Institute for Family Business, added: “We welcome this report by Cynergy Bank which reinforces our own messages and what we’ve been saying for a long time about the need to take the sector very seriously. Despite the immense financial and social contribution that family businesses make in the UK, there is often little work done to better understand them. It’s encouraging to see that Cynergy Bank is connecting with its family business customers, to learn how they operate and what their key concerns are in order to offer an even better service.”