Family businesses across the country are today being encouraged to take a moment to celebrate their businesses and colleagues.
National Family Business Day is overseen by Family Business Australia (FBA), and CEO Greg Griffith would love to see family-owned businesses set aside time today to have a cup of tea with their family members and colleagues, to reflect on their success and hard work.
National Family Business Day takes place each September as a way to recognise the contribution family businesses make to Australia’s economy, communities and culture.
Some of Australia’s household business names are family-owned enterprises, including the likes of Heights Chocolates, Kennards Hire & Self Storage, Brown Brothers Wines and Bakers Delight.
But the country is also home to millions of smaller, family-owned businesses, who are also recognised today.
Speaking to SmartCompany, Griffith estimates there are between 1.5–2 million family-owned businesses in Australia, with FBA representing approximately 3,200 of them.
According to the association, family businesses make up more than 70% of all Australian businesses and employ approximately 50% of the Australian workforce.
While Griffith says many family businesses are currently facing challenging conditions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, especially in the tourism and hospitality sectors, FBA has seen many of its members able to change their business models to retain customers.
“One of the things family businesses do really well is that, because they are not bogged down in red tape like big corporates, they can pivot quickly and change their business models very quickly,” he says.
That being said, Griffith says there is “absolutely” not enough recognition of the contribution made by Australian-owned family businesses to the economy.
The sector has an advocate in Kate Carnell, the Australian small business and family enterprise ombudsman, but Griffith says the federal government “still doesn’t truly recognise family business as a sector”.
“They need to stand up and take notice of all family businesses in Australia,” he says.
The FBA has created an “A Family Owned Australian Business” emblem for its members to display, which Griffith says is one way family businesses are communicating to their communities that they are “creating jobs and ensuring the wealth stays in Australia”.
“It’s one way they can stand out from their corporate competitors,” he says.
Meanwhile, accounting provider MYOB is encouraging Australians to support family run businesses on National Family Business Day, especially given the current challenging business environment.
“We’re encouraging consumers to support wherever they can, particularly today, and help fuel their recovery at the end of a challenging year,” Dale Dixon, head of product for small business at MYOB, said in a statement.