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November 17, 2015

SVSU research study highlights strength of family-owned businesses in region

Saginaw Valley State University researchers have found that family businesses in the Great Lakes Bay Region exhibit extraordinary longevity, leadership and giving. Results of the research study will be shared with the public Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. in SVSU’s Curtiss Hall banquet rooms.

“The family business sector in our region is even stronger and more robust than it is nationally,” said Rejeana Heinrich, associate director of the Stevens Center for Family Business at SVSU. “Because family businesses are so vital to a community's economic well-being and its quality of life, it's important to understand the characteristics of family-owned businesses here in our region.”

Rama Yelkur, dean of SVSU’s College of Business and Management, directed the research study. Key findings for family businesses in the Great Lakes Bay Region include:
•    These enterprises survive longer than the average in the United States
•    CEOs of family businesses serve in this leadership role longer than the national average
•    The vast majority of these businesses give back to their communities with some form of philanthropy

“In recent years, a lot of data has been accumulated about family businesses in the United States, and in countries throughout the world,” Heinrich said.

About 30 percent of family businesses survive to the second generation; 12 percent make it to the third generation, and 3 to 4 percent are viable into the fourth generation and beyond.
“Family businesses here are beating those odds, as the average age of a family business in our region is 39 years, compared to 24 years nationally.”

The Nov. 18 program will feature case studies on four Great Lakes Bay Region family businesses: Alloy Construction, Amigo Mobility International, Duperon Corporation, and Glastender.

National research indicates that family businesses employ about two-thirds of the U.S. workforce; account for 65 percent of all wages paid in the U.S.; and generate 64 percent of the country's GDP.

Family business does not necessarily mean small business.  About 60 percent of all public companies are family businesses, and about 34 percent of S & P 500 firms are family businesses.   

SVSU’s research was funded by a Regional Economic Innovation grant from Michigan State University, and supported by the economic development centers and chambers of commerce in Bay, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw counties.  

For more information about the research study or the public reception, contact Heinrich at 989-964-4035.

About the Stevens Center for Family Business at Saginaw Valley State University

As part of the College of Business and Management of Saginaw Valley State University, the Stevens Center for Family Business supports family business success through the generations by providing a wide range of educational and networking opportunities.  Its emphasis is on topics and issues that are unique to family businesses, especially those having to do with familial relationships, communications and succession planning.   With a triple focus on community outreach, academics and original research, the Center serves a wide range of constituencies, including family business owners and leaders, trusted advisors to family businesses, and SVSU students.  Since its founding in 2000, the SCFB has served more than 950 family business people from over 330 different family firms.  Approximately 600 other community leaders have benefited from the Center’s offerings, and more than 875 students have attended courses, programs and presentations offered by the Stevens Center for Family Business.