Quantcast

Family ties helped family-owned business survive the Great Recession

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 1 2015 4:56 p.m. MDT

In this Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, photo, Mike Rainville poses with some of his products at the Maple Landmark Woodcraft factory in Middlebury, Vt. Rainville works with multiple generations of his family at the factory. Experts say family businesses are more resilient when times are tough because of relative's commitment, passion and knowledge of the business. (Toby Talbot, AP) In this Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, photo, Mike Rainville poses with some of his products at the Maple Landmark Woodcraft factory in Middlebury, Vt. Rainville works with multiple generations of his family at the factory. Experts say family businesses are more resilient when times are tough because of relative's commitment, passion and knowledge of the business. (Toby Talbot, AP)

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

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company