Family-run businesses optimistic about hiring, retention

Regardless of the economy, family-owned businesses are optimistic about hiring and retaining employees, according to a survey by nonprofit Family Enterprise USA. 

In fact, 54 percent of respondents say they plan to hire more workers over the next 12 months. Only 8 percent of respondent report an upcoming work force reduction.

The survey finds longevity and stable leadership are considered components of family-owned businesses as 33 percent of respondents have been in business between 30 and 60 years while 44 percent have been in business for more than 60 years. Of these respondents, more than one-third have had the same executive overseeing their companies for more than 20 years.

Despite 50 percent of the respondents citing flat or lower revenue because of the recession, only 34 percent have cut staff. Among respondents that have been in business between 60 and 100 years, one-third actually added jobs over the last couple of years. 

“This year’s survey reaffirms the bedrock principles of family-owned businesses based on what we know from academic research,” says FEUSA President Ann Kinkade. “Because of their focus on long-term, sustainable growth, family-owned businesses are committed to their employees and communities over time. Family firms have leadership tenure four to five times longer than shareholder-controlled businesses. They also have greater work force stability and are more likely to hire and retain employees in the face of a tough economy.” 

According to the FEUSA survey, respondents do not care for special tax breaks and short-term stimulus as 53 percent say they prefer long-term predictability over more favorable short-term tax provisions. Forty-five percent of respondents say uncertainty in the tax code and government regulations is the biggest impediment to job growth. Favoring long-term predictability over short-term benefit is highest among respondents that have been in business for more than 30 year.

Health care reform is also a concern among respondents as 61 percent believe it will result in higher premiums, making it more difficult to pay for employee health care. The impact of health care reform is highest among respondents with 100 employees or more.

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