Funds firm hopes to give lift to dy­ing high streets

Says fam­ily busi­nesses form life-blood of the UK’S en­tre­pre­neur­ial land­scape

The Scotsman - - Business - By SCOTT REID

A spe­cial­ist fund­ing provider has launched what is be­ing billed as “the UK’S first fam­ily fi­nance re­view” after its sur­vey showed a ma­jor­ity of peo­ple be­lieve the high street is dy­ing due to un­sup­port­ive lo­cal and na­tional govern­ment.

Cap­i­tal Step said its re­view marked a na­tion­wide ini­tia­tive de­signed to en­cour­age the UK’S fam­ily and re­gional busi­nesses to “sub­mit, scale and grow post Brexit”.

The firm has re­leased a na­tion­ally rep­re­sen­ta­tive sur­vey of just over 2,000 Brits, dis­sect­ing peo­ple’s at­ti­tudes to­wards fam­ily-run busi­nesses, and the wider in­fra­struc­ture avail­able to them.

Among the re­gional find­ings, some six in ten peo­ple in Ed­in­burgh be­lieve that the UK high street is suf­fer­ing as a re­sult of fam­ily-run and/ or re­gional busi­nesses not re­ceiv­ing ad­e­quate sup­port from lo­cal coun­cil and govern­ment.

About four in ten of those polled in the city said that all or the ma­jor­ity of fam­ily-run busi­nesses that they were aware of have gone out of busi­ness over the last decade.

Over a half think the re­cent growth in tech­nol­ogy busi­nesses has taken ex­po­sure away from the fam­ily and/or re­gional firms that in­vestors would have pre­vi­ously con­sid­ered to sup­port.

Jonathan Schneider, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and co-founder of Cap­i­tal Step, said: “Fam­i­lyrun and re­gional busi­nesses form the life-blood of the UK’S en­tre­pre­neur­ial land­scape, and to see so many be­lieve that govern­ment is not look­ing after this vi­tal sec­tor of the UK’S busi­ness com­mu­nity is con­cern­ing.

“Equally, it is ap­par­ent that the fund­ing op­tions avail­able to es­tab­lished, fam­i­lyrun en­ter­prise seems to be eclipsed – in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties – by cor­po­rate en­ti­ties who have greater ex­po­sure to the most ap­pro­pri­ate fund­ing op­tions.

“The role of fam­ily en­ter­prise, com­mu­nity small and medium-sized en­ter­prises (SMES) and bricks-and-mor­tar pro­duc­tiv­ity across the length and breadth of the Brit- ish Isles must be con­sid­ered a firm pri­or­ity for the UK govern­ment – deal or no deal.

“Tran­si­tion­ing the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of Brexit will be an acutely sen­si­tive process; en­sur­ing the foun­da­tions for a busi­ness com­mu­nity that can thrive and scale in the long term will lead the charge for a suc­cess­ful post-brexit fu­ture.”

The re­tail sec­tor has seen a string of busi­nesses go to the wall, many of them fam­ily owned stores and chains

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