You may remember Ann Kinkade, President, Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA). She presented at our March Forum: “From White Castle to the White House.” FEUSA is a national non-profit organization that educates the public, policymakers, and media about issues family businesses face. It also promotes their contribution to the common good.

Ann recently wrote an article that was featured in the September/October issue of Family Business Magazine. Here is an excerpt from her article:

This spring, a diverse group of family business leaders from across the country converged in Washington, D.C., for FEUSA’s Capitol City Family Reunion. This was the first time a representative body of family enterprises has ever done so.

Refreshingly, family businesses have many allies in Washington. Speaker of the House John Boehner, and the other Senators and Representatives with whom we met, applauded the work we were doing and encouraged us to “keep it up!”

A major takeaway from our gathering was the critical need for family enterprises to speak collectively to lawmakers and the media. There’s a real need to help them understand and appreciate the value of family businesses to our economy and our nation’s prosperity.

There are 5.5 million U.S. family businesses, employing 63% of the workforce and generating an impressive 57% of our GDP. Perhaps the biggest key to the success of family enterprises is their long-term planning horizon. We are not driven by the opportunity to make short-term profit. All of this creates a stabilizing force within our companies, the communities in which we operate and the country overall.

We must educate in order to advocate, using your stories, especially when it comes to dispelling the myths about family enterprises.

Invite the media and policymakers to your company and give them a tour. Ask what they think of when you say you are a family business. Partner with them to foster a productive and positive family business environment.

Family enterprises remain the one bright spot in a sluggish economy, and that’s a great success story to tell. Enterprising families need to work together to restore faith in the American dream by celebrating their historical achievements, and defining what is possible.

To read the entire article, click here.

Ann Kinkade has over two decades of business experience. She has worked exclusively with business-owning families in a variety of contexts for over a decade. She launched FEUSA in 2009.

Reprinted by permission of the publisher from September/October 2012. Family Business Magazine is published in Philadelphia, PA:

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