Funds firm looks to give lift to family businesses

The retail sector has taken a buffeting recently. Picture: Neil Hanna
The retail sector has taken a buffeting recently. Picture: Neil Hanna
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A specialist funding provider has launched what is being billed as “the UK’s first family finance review” after its survey showed a majority of people believe the high street is dying due to unsupportive local and national government.

Capital Step said its review marked a nationwide initiative designed to encourage the UK’s family and regional businesses to “submit, scale and grow post Brexit”.

The firm has released a nationally representative survey of just over 2,000 Brits, dissecting people’s attitudes towards family-run businesses, and the wider infrastructure available to them.

Among the regional findings, some six in ten people in Edinburgh believe that the UK high street is suffering as a result of family-run and/or regional businesses not receiving adequate support from local council and government.

About four in ten of those polled in the city said that all or the majority of family-run businesses that they were aware of have gone out of business over the last decade.

Over a half think the recent growth in technology businesses has taken exposure away from the family and/or regional firms that investors would have previously considered to support.

Jonathan Schneider, executive chairman and co-founder of Capital Step, said: “Family-run and regional businesses form the life-blood of the UK’s entrepreneurial landscape, and to see so many believe that government is not looking after this vital sector of the UK’s business community is concerning.

“Equally, it is apparent that the funding options available to established, family-run enterprise seems to be eclipsed – in local communities – by corporate entities who have greater exposure to the most appropriate funding options.

“The role of family enterprise, community small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and bricks-and-mortar productivity across the length and breadth of the British Isles must be considered a firm priority for the UK government – deal or no deal.

“Transitioning the immediate aftermath of Brexit will be an acutely sensitive process; ensuring the foundations for a business community that can thrive and scale in the long term will lead the charge for a successful post-Brexit future.”