Family Businesses Making a Comeback
Many people say it's tough to work with family members, but a lot of people are doing it effectively and profitably. An important factor in the recovery seems to be coming from family-owned businesses: A recent survey of those involved in them shows that 52 percent of respondents plan to add additional employees, and 42 percent intend to keep their current staff numbers despite an overall sluggish recovery.
The new survey completed by Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA), shows that family business owners are a major contributor to the number of job openings over the last two months, which has been at or above 3 million. The findings also show that family businesses are less likely to lay off employees.
"Overall, business-owning families are more concerned about long-term sustainability than short-term gains," says Ann Kinkade, president of FEUSA. "This type of thinking is part of the reason why family businesses will likely lead our nation's economic recovery."
Kinkade is concerned, however about the government's view of family-owned businesses. "Family-owned businesses have been misrepresented, misunderstood and overlooked by many of our nation's key decision-makers," she says. "Policies are in place that clearly create different standards for doing business based on the fact that the owners, and in some cases their employees, are related to one another."
For example, the new small business tax credit for the payment of employee health insurance premiums and the new $1,000 hiring credit both specifically carve out the inclusion of employees related to the owner(s).
"Policies that purposely exclude family in business should have no place in our already complex system of business laws and regulations," says Kinkade.
"We need to incentivize the continuation of our family-owned businesses, not put policies in place that could contribute to their demise," concludes Kinkade. The laws were probably meant to avoid nepotism and unfair and inappropriate additions of family members to payrolls for advantageous tax purposes, but Kinkade sees them as unjustly inhibiting.
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