Stepping Out On The Family Business Road Trip
The innovative tour to celebrate family businesses began earlier this year and with family businesses accounting for 3 million firms in the UK, providing 9.2 million jobs and generating £1.1 trillion turnover – almost 25% of UK GDP – the Family Business United tour of family businesses continues to mark the contribution they make to the UK economy.
The Family Business Road Trip travelled across the country, bringing businesses together to share experience, network and address the challenges they face, as well as putting the sector on the map. The 27 day tour launched in Leicestershire on 21 April, before heading south west to Devon and pursued a route that goes from coast to coast, finishing in Sussex on 28 May.
The tour involved meeting with some of the UK’s most noteworthy family businesses, including Balsons – 500 years old and the oldest direct lineage family firm in the UK – and Stewarts Garden Centre – creators of the first ever UK garden centre concept.
Gardiner Bros in Gloucester was one of the family firms visited. Steeped in family traditions, Gardiner Bros & Co (Leathers) Ltd distributes footwear and workwear to the retail trade. Established in 1860 the business has over 140 years of experience in providing the best possible service levels for the different market sectors in which it is involved.
Family businesses are unique in that they keep history and tradition alive over hundreds of years, but are also one of the key cogs in the UK economy.
As Paul Andrews, Founder and Managing Director of Family Business United concludes: “Innovative events such as this really do help to put great British family businesses on the map, those that are just starting out on their family business journeys and others that have been around for generations like Gardiners.”
“This is about seeing real people in real businesses doing what they do best, and raising the profile of the family business sector at the same time. It is also an opportunity for different firms to meet, share and build upon the experiences of others.”
“Firms like Gardiners have succeeded through the generations, but like many other successful family firms they recognise the need for evolution, continuing to develop the business in response to the needs of their customers, embracing the very nature of the family ownership to deliver a continually evolving offering, one that hopefully ensure the survival of the business for generations to come.”
Keep up to date with the rest of the Road Trip on twitter using #FBRoadTrip2015.