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Gloucestershire Business News

Family businesses crucial to pandemic recovery

The rebound of family businesses post-pandemic will be critical to the rebuilding of the UK economy, a new report has shown.

The latest report by the IFB Research Foundation (IFBRF) reveals that in 2019, family businesses contributed to almost 30 per cent of the UK's national income. Over 100,000 new family businesses were created in the year before the pandemic, with 5.2 million family firms in total, employing over 14 million people in the UK.

Gloucestershire is home to a large number of family businesses, across all sectors.

Construction firm EG Carter was established in 1945 by Edward George Carter, great-grandfather of director, Sam Carter. There are five members of the Carter family who are still part of the business, which employs 110 people in Gloucestershire.

Sam Carter said: "In the last five years, the company has established itself on numerous frameworks throughout the South West and South of England, scoring in first place on both cost and quality on a selection of these frameworks.

"We have maintained steady growth in turnover, as well as continued growth in our training of apprentices and management trainees. The fourth generation of the Carter family continue to grow into their roles and establish themselves within the company.

"Being part of a family business is something that is close to my heart, seeing the business develop through 76 years and having four generations of Carters remain at the helm of the company, is what having a family business is all about.

"We have got through numerous recessions and now a pandemic and we couldn't have done this without our dedicated employees. Our staff are part of our extended family, one of the things that we pride ourselves on is the longevity, over 133 employees are celebrating being part of the company for over 10 years. In today's world, the construction industry is fast paced and knowing our staff are happy, loyal and feel like part of the family helps us to strive to keep doing what we are doing."

John Clingan started Farmhouse Cooked Meats Ltd (now Farmhouse Deli) in 1969, with his business partner Derek Meadows. The company has two shops in Gloucester and one in Cheltenham.

John Clingan is still part of the business, along with his wife Gwyn, his children Rob and Jenny, daughter-in-law Emma and grandson, Oliver.

Rob Clingan, managing director, said: "We all, except my mother, work in the shops, mainly front of house mainly, but with some production too. All four of my sisters have worked within Farmhouse at some point, as well as my niece. My three boys are already asking when they can start!

"Being a family business is really important and beneficial. I get to spend a lot of time with my father which I love, he has such a wealth of experience to call on! It also gives the whole company a family feel. Many of our team have been with us for many years, which I hope is because they feel like they are a part of our extended family - the Farmhouse family."

Sir Michael Bibby, chairman of the IFB Research Foundation, said: "This latest report from the IFB Research Foundation shows how, before the Covid-19 pandemic, family businesses were playing a critical role in the UK economy. The evidence highlights how the sector had been performing well and was largely optimistic about the future.

"The pandemic is likely to have had a dramatic impact on the outlook and expectations of many UK small and medium-sized enterprises. This report will give us a great base from which to analyse the changes, especially given some of the sectors in which family firms are most concentrated have been those hardest hit by Covid-19."

Elizabeth Bagger, IFB director general, said: "This report clearly shows how significant family businesses are to the strength, stability and success of UK private enterprise.

"Family firms are the driving force across all regions, communities, and sectors of the UK and as such, are pivotal to the future prosperity of the country as we emerge from the pandemic. We must therefore ensure that family businesses are supported to recover and grow."

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