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Local Business Gather Once Again to Celebrate National Family Business Day Over Breakfast

29th, Sep 2021

Family Businesses in NI represents 57% of employment in the private sector equating to 328k jobs.

Local accountancy firm, Harbinson Mulholland recently hosted their first ‘live’ NI Family Business Forum event since March 2020 to celebrate National Family Business Day, welcoming over 55 businesses for breakfast to the Culloden for a ‘Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast’ talk from Sam Davidson of Henderson Group, one of NI’s largest privately owned employers, with around 4300 staff.

Speaking at the event, Darren McDowell, Senior Partner at Harbinson Mulholland welcomed the opportunity to bring everyone together across NI to celebrate the role that family firms play. He said:
“National Family Business Day is a great way for the community to work as one voice in raising the profile of the sector, showcasing the diversity of family firms, the history and heritage that are the very essence of family firms and to highlight the continued innovation, investment and entrepreneurship demonstrated by family businesses, young and old, to remain relevant as a business today.

“2021 has not been a normal year and with so much uncertainty and implications for business created by the global pandemic, never has there been a better time suited to bring everyone together.

“In a recent ‘State of the Nation’ Survey conducted this year by the Institute of Family Business statistics show that our sector in the UK as a whole, contributes 29% to GDP creating 14 million jobs. When we extract Northern Ireland as a region the Family Businesses provide around 328k jobs equating to 57% of employment in the private sector. That is mind blowing! Our members represent an incredibly important part of the local economy.

“This year the report concludes that the heart of the local economic recovery will be built on renewal and this needs to come on the back of what the firms represented here today see the as the success of their business. In my view, the key to this success is the people we work for and with, and it is this culture that binds the people together. Now more than ever we need to nourish protect, trust, and invest in our staff. If the last 18 months has taught us anything it is that we are resilient, but not indestructible and without our staff, colleagues, and family members many of our businesses just wouldn’t exist,” said Darren.

As well as an interview with Sam Davidson from Henderson Group, guests were also given a talk about mental health in the workplace from Action Mental Health and the importance in investing in staff health and wellbeing from CEO of Kingsbridge Private Hospital Mark Regan.

The NI Family Business Forum was established 5 years ago. In that time, it has been supported by academic partner Ulster University Business School working together to build a solid reputation and track record of helping family firms maximise financial performance whilst balancing commercial challenges and family obligations.

Pictured above at the National Family Business Day ‘Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast’ are (l-r) Sam Davidson, Group HR Director at Henderson Group, Dr Ian Smyth, Ulster University Business School and Darren McDowell, Senior Partner at Harbinson Mulholland.


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