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Family Business Economic Research - Pat Soldano

Update 2021: Family Businesses’ Contribution to the U.S. Economy

In 1996 and 2003, a groundbreaking study of the impact of family businesses on the U.S. economy and society was conducted that helped shape policy including elements of the Contract with America, changes in estate tax laws, and the inclusion of the idea of family business in many aspects of government policy and legislation. Led by a team of internationally renowned academic researchers, including one member of the original studies, the present report provides an update and further assessment of the economic impact of family businesses. Conceiving family businesses along a continuum of definitions, ranging from narrow, to medium, to broad, depending on the level of family influence on the business, the findings provide nuanced insights into their contributions to employment and economic activity. Regardless of the definition used, family businesses are key pillars of the U.S. economy and essential to economic and social prosperity. The insights provide decision makers, regulators and legislators with data, scientific arguments and justifications to craft policy and take measures in this remarkable time of change and economic and societal progress.



Family Businesses employ 83.3 million people, 59% of the private sector workforce

Washington, DC: Family Enterprise USA today announced the publication of a new research project that revisits an unprecedented study on the impact of family businesses’ contributions to the US economy, which was last released in 2003.

“This is a long overdue report that we are grateful to have been able to produce in collaboration with Torsten Pieper, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) and his dedicated team of researchers, Franz W. Kellermanns, Ph.D., also of UNCC, and Joseph H. Astrachan, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Kennesaw State University,” says Patricia Soldano, President of Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA), which provided primary funding for the research.

Family Enterprise USA is the organization that represents all family businesses on a national level in DC; it is not unique to any industry. Family Enterprise USA is different from other organizations because it represents and advocates for the families of family businesses and the issues, they face running their businesses every day. Our sole mission and purpose is to promote family businesses and their job growth in America. We also support the work of Family Business Centers across the country. We hope your family will choose to be a member of Family Enterprise USA.