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Growing family companies need to be adequately capitalized to fund their current operating needs, future growth and development, and the periodic liquidity requirements of their shareholders. But after nearly two decades of historically low cost of capital and abundant capital market liquidity, family-owned businesses are finding that company capitalization decisions have become more complex in 2024.


There are many challenges. Amid the broader landscape, rate tightening by the Fed has increased the cost of borrowing in the range of 300 to more than 500 basis points for most businesses,1 the M2 money supply has contracted in a similar manner to what occurred during the Great Depression in the 1930s,2 and the biggest bond market rout in almost 250 years has occurred.

On the lending side, balance sheet asset risk exposure, stemming from commercial real estate loan write-downs and deposit withdrawals, has impacted bank liquidity, tightened credit acceptance and curtailed lending activities. In turn, many alternative lenders face challenges with existing portfolio companies.

Businesses are facing internal capital challenges as well. Inflation and other supply chain factors have impacted gross margins and operating income, capital budgets have been slashed in the B2B market, and cap rates for real estate valuations have deteriorated. The fear of recession has also limited capital market access for many businesses.

It’s clear that the rules of the game have shifted in today’s capital markets, so many family businesses are looking at how to re-evaluate their company capitalization plans. As part of that process, they need to better understand how the capital markets have changed, as well as how their business would be assessed by participants in the capital markets. In this way, they can better quantify their capital availability and more accurately calculate the cost of capital.

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About EY Family Enterprise
As trusted advisors to ambitious business-owning families, including more than 90% of the world’s top 500 family enterprises, EY teams have the experience and know-how to support the entire family enterprise — family members, their family business, and their family office.

The EY approach to working with family enterprises is anchored in the EY Family Enterprise DNA Model. This model supports both the personal and business performance agendas of family enterprise leaders by pinpointing four key areas of focus to achieve their ambitions: family, values, business and assets. We combine our understanding of these focus areas with decades of experience working with the world’s most entrepreneurial families to create a framework for guided conversations on topics that matter most to family enterprise owners.

EY Family Enterprise professionals can support you in identifying and optimizing the drivers that impact family businesses’ growth and longevity, preserve wealth, and culture, and solidify intergenerational legacies. Family Enterprise Business Services | EY - US

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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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