Covid-19 takes toll on Scottish family businesses' revenues

Scotland’s family businesses have been among the worst-affected globally by the pandemic, according to new research out today.

KPMG has unveiled the latest findings of its Global Family Business Report, which questioned about 3,000 family-owned firms around the world, including leading companies in Scotland, exploring how coronavirus has hit revenues and growth plans.

Eight in ten Scottish businesses said Covid-19 has affected revenues – 11 per cent higher than the global average – while UK family-owned businesses say their priority strategy throughout the restrictions has been making use of the furlough scheme.

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However, while KPMG’s research highlighted the challenges facing the sector, the accountancy giant also said some of Scotland’s oldest companies remain “fiercely independent” with deep heritage and generational insight, helping to build resilience.

KPMG also flagged family firms' resilience that it says will help to continue to catalyse the economy. Picture: Getty Images.

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It added that family-owned firms are the “backbone” of the Scottish economy, contributing billions to Scotland’s finances, with the top 100 alone employing more than 112,000 people and generating turnover in excess of £20 billion.

Kirsty Ross, KPMG’s head of family business in Scotland, said: “Scotland is home to some of the largest percentages of family firms in the world – many of them household names in the food and drink world, hospitality, agriculture and retail.

“The last few years have taken their toll... but there is a constant theme throughout this. When I speak to business leaders, they tell me that they’ve been here before. It’s that sense of resilience that ensures that they continue to play such a pivotal role in the future success of the country’s economy.”

KMPG also said the new data follows increased investment in the firm’s Scottish family business team.

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