She was responding to statistics from the Institute for Family Business (IFB) which estimate that around 85% of firms in the North of Ireland’s private sector are family businesses.
The IFB estimated there were 125,103 family firms in the North of Ireland in 2019; constituting 84.4% of Northern Ireland’s private sector firms and 57.2% of NI private sector employment.
Some 328,000 workers in NI were employed by family businesses.
Said the Foyle MLA: “Family businesses dominate our private sector in Derry. Figures from the IFB show most people working in the private sector are employed in a family business.
“Family businesses have strengths and weaknesses.
“The family unit can be strong and that can mean that the business is strong, but we all know that there can be disagreements within families and if this happens it can be crippling for businesses.
“It is important that in these instances firms ask for help to work through their difficulties.
“Another challenge can be handing over to the next generation. Not all offspring want to continue the family tradition.
“I urge family businesses in these circumstances to consider discussing the future with their staff.
“Many successful family businesses carry forward the name and success by having their employees take over the firm.
“This can protect jobs and help the local community to prosper.”Tags: