How do you recognize the value of a family-owned business? For Delaware Business Times, the answer is multifaceted.
First, we support family-owned businesses through a partnership with the University of Delaware Small Business Development Center. For the last three years, we’ve offered a series of workshops for family-owned business leaders designed to enhance communication skills, discuss succession planning, share leadership strategies and help find funding.
We also spotlight Delaware’s family-owned businesses in our publication all year long. We share their backstories and give readers a glimpse of their histories, challenges and tenacity, including lessons on leadership and business development that can be useful across sectors and industries.
Finally, we celebrate family-owned businesses. The Family-Owned Business Awards nominates businesses based on their outstanding work and longtime presence in the community.
The 2018 honorees of the Family-Owned Business Awards represent a diverse mix of businesses throughout the state. We have honorees from the service sector, such as sanitation companies and funeral homes, and
the dining arena, such as bakeries and restaurants.
As in previous years, our 16 honorees include second, third, even fourth-generation family businesses. Kreston Wine & Spirits has been in business since the end of Prohibition and was the first liquor store on the East Coast to computerize its inventory. Lessard Builders spends 95 percent of its expenses locally, all while supporting Delaware-based nonprofits. Serpe & Sons Bakery has married the ancient art of baking with technology by introducing tablets and automated equipment throughout the shop.
Here’s another reason this particular celebration is special: Only about 30 percent of family-owned businesses make it to the second generation.
According to figures provided by the Conway Center for Family Business, family businesses account for 64 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, generate 62 percent of the country’s employment, and account for 78 percent of all new job creation. In addition:
•Studies have shown that about 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled and represent the full spectrum of American industries.
•The greatest part of America’s wealth lies with family-owned businesses. Family firms comprise 80 percent to 90 percent of all business enterprises in North America.
•Seventy-four percent believe they have a stronger culture and values than non-family firms, and 72 percent measure success differently — not just growth and profit.
Every year, it’s exciting to review the Family-Owned Business Awards nominations and read their stories. Thankfully, we have a panel of judges who feel the same. Margo Reign is a business advisor with the Small Business Development Center at the University of Delaware. Mike Stamn is the chair at Vistage International, an executive coaching organization that offers leadership training and business coaching to CEOs and executives.
Delaware Business Times Founding Publisher Sam Waltz and Director of Business Development Charlie Tomlinson were also part of the judging panel.
We know you’ll enjoy reading the stories of your Delaware neighbors and family-owned businesses. We hope you’ll also join us at the Family-Owned Business Awards event at the Christiana Hilton on June 20.
Here are the honorees: