|Public Information Office
310 Owen Hall, Campus PO 1820
Asheville, NC 28804-8507
828/251/6526 FAX: 828/251-6777
|For Immediate Release
April 3, 2001
UNCA Launches First Family Business
Forum in Region;
UNC Asheville announced this week the creation of theregion's first Family Business Forum, developed to enhance the continued viability of family-owned businesses in the Asheville area.
"The backbone of Western North Carolina's economy is family-owned businesses, yet it is increasingly difficult for these closely held firms to survive or thrive on an intergenerational basis," said George Groome, a UNCA Board of Trustees member who is assisting UNCA in developing the program. "That's why UNCA is creating the The Family Business Forum. It is a resource for successful family-owned businesses in the Asheville area as business owners seek to strengthen and support the entrepreneurial spirit of the family and the company," Groome said.
Groome's firm, Colton and Groome Inc., is one of theForum's sponsors, along with Crisp Hughes Evans, First Citizens Bank, and McGuire, Wood & Bissette. All four firms are recognized throughout the region as specialists in family business planning and management.
R. James Henderson, the interim executive director ofUNCA's Family Business Forum, said the family firms must often confront difficult, complicated issues.
"Family businesses face complex issues of tax and estateplanning, succession and organizational structure, power and compensation, family dynamics, and strategic planning," said Henderson. "The Family Business Forum will bring to Asheville respected national authorities to lead workshops, seminars and other sessions on issues critical to our membership. As part of UNC Asheville, the Forum will be able to draw on the expertise of faculty from UNCA and other University of North Carolina institutions. Our goal is to enhance company leadership and operations, and bring our members a clearer understanding of family dynamics and interpersonal relations."
Membership in the forum is open to firms that have afamily member with controlling interest in the business and at least one family member currently employed in the business. In addition to seminars and workshops, members will receive current research and articles on family business issues, a quarterly newsletter, and the opportunity to network with other family-owned business members who face similar challenges of perpetuating a family business.
For more information, call Jim Henderson at 828/251-6797,voice box 8003.
Family Business Sidebar
* Ninety-seven percent of the 9,587 businesses in BuncombeCounty employ fewer than 250 people. These employers are predominantly closely held businesses that form the economic backbone of our region.
* More than 90 percent of all business enterprises in theUnited States are family owned, and nearly 35 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are family firms.
* Nationally, family businesses account for 78 percent of allnew jobs created, 60 percent of the national employment, and 50 percent of the gross domestic product.
* Only 30 percent of all family-owned businesses in the nationsurvive into the second generation, and 12 percent will be viable into the third generation. Only three percent of all family businesses operate into the fourth generation and beyond.
* In the next five years, 30 percent of family owned firms in theU.S. will experience a change in leadership due to retirement or semi-retirement.
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