KPMG: Family businesses in Europe fared better than other regions in response to COVID-19, says new report

According to the report Taking the long view: Lessons in endurance from European family businesses, based on a survey of 1,332 European family business leaders and prepared through a collaboration between the STEP Project Global Consortium, European Family Businesses (EFB) and KPMG Private Enterprise, family businesses in Europe:
  • Witnessed a 4.1 percent workforce reduction compared to 8.56 percent of family businesses globally.
  • Only 15 percent closed their businesses temporarily.
  • Less than 1 percent closed permanently.
  • The majority saw revenues decline in the short term, however 11 percent had revenue increases.
  • Over 70 percent obtained government support, particularly special loan programs.
  • Were more likely to raise additional capital and take on more debt to maintain their independence and control, compared to other regions.
For businesses of all types, the first impact on the pandemic was felt on revenues. While almost two-thirds of European family businesses (64 percent) reported initial revenue losses compared to 69 percent of family businesses globally, one-quarter (25 percent) managed to maintain their revenue levels, and 11 percent experienced increases.
Families took three immediate actions to address the impact of declining revenues on their business: 1) stabilizing the business through employment changes and expense reductions; 2) accessing government support; 3) streamlining their operations and reimagining the future for their companies. Retaining as many employees as possible as well as long-term relationships with suppliers, customers and other important stakeholders were made a priority.

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