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Family ties helped family-owned business survive the Great Recession

Published: Friday, April 26 2013 7:35 a.m. MDT

Family ties saved the Wittern Group during the Great Recession, according to an article by USA Today.

The family-owned business, which makes vending machine manufacturing, had to cut 130 jobs in 2008.

In a time when many companies went under, Heidi Chico, president of Wittern Group, said her company's secret was focusing on longer-term strategies.

Not all family-owned businesses survived the recession, though experts said these types of businesses had some advantages, according to the article. The decision-making process tended to be quicker and the companies tended to be more reluctant to cut skilled workers.

Family-owned businesses do have some additional hardships during recessions than other companies, however. Access to credit is a major one.

Chico said the Wittern group looked to longer-term strategies by purchasing upgraded technology. The company must have been healthy going into the recession, said Pramodita Sharma, a University of Vermont business professor.

“It's like a human,” Sharma told USA Today. “If I haven't been taking care of my body, if I haven't exercised or been eating right, when an illness comes, it hurts me more. It's the same with an organization."

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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