Family Businesses Are Experiencing the COVID-19 Crisis in Unique Ways

KelloggInsight Article
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September 2020

Several months into the coronavirus pandemic, it's become clear that economic pain is not being distributed equally, even within individual industries.

But what about family businesses?

This important category of business has been largely left out of the public discussion, says Jose Liberti, a clinical professor of finance at Kellogg. This is in part because detailed data on family businesses can be tough to come by.

But the data that do exist suggest that family businesses are experiencing the current crisis in a fundamentally different way from other businesses, large or small. Liberti explains how their experience is shaped by long-term horizons, which often lead to less debt, a surprisingly diversified portfolio, and, sometimes, a nonmonetary definition of success...

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