How each one handled the challenges posed by the pandemic

By Patricia N. Soldano & Dawn S. Markowitz

Mention the word “COVID-19” to a family business owner, and it’s a sure way to elicit a variety of responses. For some, the pandemic brought new and innovative changes to their family businesses to adapt to the “new normal.” For others, it meant painful actions such as shuttering an office or reducing their workforce. For all, the pandemic forced family-owned businesses to engage in soul searching, critical decision making and a re-evaluation of their future.

In 2020, Family Enterprise USA conducted a survey of 40 family-owned businesses.1 Although 60% reported that they managed to retain all of their employees during the pandemic, 81% reported that their businesses lost revenue during that time. Fifty-three percent of respondents used the assistance provided by the government, mostly in the form of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. And, 69% percent supported their employees with paid leave and benefits; 66% of respondents supported their local or national charities.

Let’s take a look at seven family-owned businesses. Each offers a unique perspective on how the pandemic affected its day-to-day operations, the creative solutions it employed and what it did to remain afloat and for some, to thrive.

Family Enterprise USA advocates for American Family business. We help family businesses communicate their challenges and contributions to American economic freedom to Legislators. We represent all American family businesses; not just specific industries and provide research to enhance the opportunity for success. We help family businesses continue to establish their unique business legacy. Family Enterprise USA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.. Family foundations can donate.