The New York Times writer Martha White looks into five different family businesses and how they are dealing with transitioning their enterprises to the next generation. The businesses range from a gas equipment company to jewelry company to a construction services company. The feature article also mentions Family Enterprise USA and the research that 32 million family businesses make up 60 percent of the private workforce in America.


When Your Career, and Retirement, Are the Family’s Business
By Martha White
The New York Times
March 26, 2023

Succession plans, or the lack thereof, can hinder the transition to a new generation — and affect how loved ones fund their later years.

Most workers strive to keep their personal and professional lives separate. But for people who start or inherit a family business, the opposite is true: The personal is professional. And it gets very personal when it comes to retirement.

Family businesses employ close to 60 percent of the nation’s work force, according to calculations by management professors at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Kennesaw State University, in collaboration with the research and advocacy group Family Enterprise USA. They found there are as many as 32 million family businesses in the country.

In a sense, running a family business is the epitome of entrepreneurial success, with passing on that business to children the apex of that success. But a 2021 survey by the consulting firm PwC found that only about a third of family-owned businesses have a succession plan. We looked at five of these businesses to see how they managed the transition between generations — and how those plans affected owners’ timelines for retirement.

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The need for fact-based reporting of issues important to multi generational businesses and protecting a lifetime of savings has never been greater. Now more than ever, multi generational businesses and family businesses are under fire. That's why Family Enterprise USA is passionately working to increase the awareness of issues important to generationally-owned family businesses built on hard work, while continuing to strengthen our presence on Capitol Hill. The issues we fight for or against with Congress in Washington DC include high income tax rates, possible elimination of valuation discounts, increase in capital gains tax, enactment of a wealth tax, and the continued burden of the gift tax, estate tax and generation skipping tax.

Family Enterprise USA promotes generationally owned family business creation, growth, viability, and sustainability by advocating for family businesses and their lifetime of savings with Congress in Washington DC.  Since 2007, Family Enterprise USA has represented and celebrated all sizes, professions and industries of family-owned enterprises and multi-generational employers. It is a bi-partisan 501.c3 organization. Family foundations can donate.

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