Family Business UK Responds to the Autumn Statement

Fiona Graham, Director of External Affairs and Policy at Family Business UK said;

“The Chancellor and Prime Minister have this week both been talking about making decisions for the long-term.  And while there was good news for business in the statement around full expensing, there is still much more to be done”.

“The full expensing announcement will help support more investment, but if we want to truly unlock long term growth we need to remove the regulatory barriers businesses are coming up against and tackle long term issues”.

“A key example of this is the need to completely overhaul the Apprenticeship Levy.  To deliver sustainable growth businesses need a workforce that has the skills for the jobs of the future”.

“Family businesses want to invest in training young people and retraining those who need to move industries –  but the Apprenticeship Levy system isn’t working.  Without a plan to fundamentally overhaul the employee training landscape and create a system that can financially support and provide the funding and training for skills for the future, the Government will not see significant long term growth.”

“Today’s statement marks the start of supporting long term growth – but we need to see more, across all departments, to make sure the ambition is reflected in real policy changes.”




How to Show your Support for The Family Business UK 2024 Manifesto

The Family Business UK Manifesto: Taking the Long-Term View, Policies to Unleash the Potential of the UK Family Business sector.

Ahead of the upcoming General Election this manifesto represents our offer to policymakers, informed by the UK’s family business community and their everyday experience of doing business.

These cover what we see as the big opportunities of today and tomorrow: People, Growth, Ownership and Succession.

Family Business UK believes that the UK needs to formulate a growth strategy that encourages and incentivises businesses to focus on longer-term investment opportunities and returns for stakeholders, the environment, and the UK’s role and place in the wider world.

We hope you will get behind this Manifesto, as we continue to build the Family Business UK movement.

Here are some ways you can show your support for the Manifesto:

  • Join family businesses like Wates, NG Bailey, Rigby Group, and Samworth Brothers, in providing a quote backing the manifesto.
  • Send the manifesto to your MPs, and ask them to publicly back it.
  • Download our social assets and share them through your relevant social media platforms
  • Share the Manifesto with your network (other families, your trade body, family and colleagues).

Thank you for your support in ensuring family firms are at the heart of the policy debate as we approach the next election.

Download The Family Business UK Manifesto 2024.

Our Social assets supporting the FBUK Manifesto.

Senior business leaders back the launch of the Family Business UK Manifesto

The Family Business UK Manifesto – Taking the Long-Term View which lists “policies to unleash the potential of the UK family business sector” has received support from business leaders from Rigby Group, Samworth Brothers, Wates Group and ARCO, amongst others.

Published today, the Manifesto sets out a list of key policy recommendations that can provide “enormous potential of the family business sector to support economic growth, family businesses, their workforce, and society at large.”

Family Business UK believes that for too long, political, industry and business decision-making has taken a restricted approach to investment decisions that responds to the priorities of non-family business PLCs, whose priority is to meet shareholder demands for short-term returns on investments.

The UK needs to formulate a growth strategy that encourages and incentivises businesses to focus on longer-term investment opportunities and returns for stakeholders, the environment, and the UK’s role and place in the wider world.

People: Policymakers and business must come together to help family firms to get the best out of their people through investing in skills and opportunities for local communities by:

  • Replacing the Apprenticeship Levy with a Future Skills Fund
  • Allowing more flexibility on how businesses use the fund for skills
  • Removing barriers on spending between home nations
  • Encouraging upskilling and career long learning

Growth: Family firms – backed by a clear government agenda – can help to deliver growth, enabling them to invest for the long term to create sustainable businesses and jobs by:

  • Developing a Long-term Industrial Strategy, and to publish a Business Tax Roadmap
  • Making the new Full Expensing rules for capital investment permanent.
  • Reviewing the disparity in the tax treatment of debt and equity financing
  • Developing a stand-alone growth and support strategy for mid-sized businesses,
  • Raising the eligibility threshold for EIS to 499 employees (the same level as for knowledge-intensive companies) and increase the investment limit.

Ownership and succession: Promoting family ownership and ensuring a smooth transition from one generation to the next also building new companies for the future by:

  • Committing to maintain Business Property Relief (BPR) in full
  • Updating the rules for BPR to support businesses with joint ventures
  • Bringing Business Assets Holdover Relief (BAHR) eligibility into alignment with BPR to enable a smooth transition in ownership between generations

Sir James Wates CBE, Chair of Family Business UK:

“Family businesses are the backbone of the UK’s entrepreneurial landscape, weaving together tradition and innovation.”

“Their unwavering commitment to quality, sustainability, and community sets them apart.”

“I wholeheartedly endorse the manifesto for family businesses in the UK, recognizing their vital role in driving economic growth and nurturing the local fabric of our society.”

Chief Executive of Family Business UK, Neil Davy, said:

“In the UK, we are sitting on an enormous resource of entrepreneurialism in the form of our family business sector.

“This manifesto represents our offer to policymakers, informed by the UK’s family business community and their everyday experience of doing business in helping to solve the big challenges of today and tomorrow.

“If implemented, they will unleash the enormous potential of the family business sector to support economic growth through responsible business practices that benefit the family business, their workforce, and society at large.”

Read The Family Business UK Manifesto 2024

New Research Reveals How Much Family Firms Contribute in Tax

Family businesses generated more than a quarter of the UK tax bill in 2021, new research can reveal.

The research published today by the Family Business Research Foundation and PwC UK reveals how much the UK’s family businesses are contributing in tax receipts.

This is the first report of its kind, exploring in depth the tax contribution of family firms and analysing the breakdown of all taxes contributed.

In 2021, the family business sector as a whole is estimated to have contributed £225 billion to UK public finances. This represents 27% of government receipts from all taxes in the UK. Out of this £225bn, £74bn was contributed in taxes borne- those that are a direct cost to the company – and £151bn in taxes collected, such as income tax and employee National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

For every £100 of turnover, family businesses in the study contributed an average of £18.50 in taxes.

As part of the research, the tax contributions of 44 firms were analysed. The research found that the largest proportion of taxes generated were people taxes (43%). Products taxes were next highest (37%), followed by profit taxes (12%), property taxes (6%) and planet taxes (2%).

The greatest contribution to the Exchequer from study participants is through employment taxes, 43% of the Total Tax Contribution. Corporation tax accounted for 10% of the tax contributed by study participants.

In the UK, family firms employ around 14 million people. For every Person employed by the companies that took part in the study, £11,468 was generated in employment taxes. The largest element of value distributed by family firms in the study was to employees in wages (41%), followed by amounts generated in taxes (34%) showing the valuable contribution made by family firms through employment and to the Exchequer.

Sir Michael Bibby, Chairman, Family Business Research Foundation, said:

“We are pleased to be able to share this new study, which marks a step forward in producing more robust evidence on the overall economic impact of the UK’s family businesses. This report presents new evidence on the contribution that the family business sector makes to the UK’s public finances –to the tune of £225bn in 2021. “

“For the first time, through this research, we can see a full breakdown of the taxes being generated by family firms. This not only highlights their enormous contribution but will also help policymakers model the impact of any changes they propose in the future for the family business sector. “

“Employment in family firms and the generation of employment taxes are important ways they contribute to the economy – as our previous research shows, family firms employ around 14 million people in the UK. It is also interesting to note the comparatively higher value distributed to employees by family firms.”

Andy Wiggins, Partner, and Total Tax Contribution Leader, PwC UK, said:

“This is the first time we’ve prepared a Total Tax Contribution report for the Family Business sector.”

“Alongside the incredible impact family businesses have on the public finances, one of the key messages coming out of the report is the importance of investing in employees. Family Businesses are taking advantage of the apprenticeship levy, which demonstrates the importance family leaders put on developing careers and supporting local communities.”

Fiona Graham, Director of External Affairs and Policy, Family Business UK, said:

“Family businesses are the backbone of the UK economy and the bedrock of our communities. While we can see the positive impact, they have in communities up and down the country, this is the first time we have had a detailed breakdown of the contribution made to our public finances. “

“We are pleased to see this report published today to further build on the evidence of the important economic contribution family firms make to our country. And we hope that politicians and policymakers will study the report, and ensure they consider the cumulative impact of policy changes rather than looking at each tax policy in isolation.”

View the report on the Family Business Research Foundation here.

FBUK Response to reports Labour intend to scrap Inheritance Tax Business Relief

Responding to reports Labour intend to scrap Inheritance Tax Business Relief, Neil Davy, CEO of Family Business UK, said: “Such a move would quite simply have a catastrophic impact on the family business sector, which employs 14 million people in the UK”.

“Business Property Relief (BPR) – now known as Business Relief – was specifically designed to facilitate the handing of a family business from one generation to the next without creating a significant Inheritance Tax (IHT) charge which the business would be unable to pay.  It is well designed and understood by business owners and gives them the confidence to invest and plan for their businesses to continue trading and providing employment after their death”.

“For business owning family members, the illiquid business assets form the bulk of their estate. Without BPR, the IHT liability would be borne by the business itself. This would require the family business to be sold, liquidated or broken up in order to raise the necessary cash to pay the charge. This would have clear knock-on effects on levels of employment in communities across the country, and the ability of the business to invest for the future”.

“85,000 family SMEs are expected to transfer ownership of their business to a new generation each year. BPR affords these firms an option to plan for a stable succession while maintaining ownership stability. It also plays a key role in ensuring that these small and medium firms can focus on scaling up their businesses. Around 77% of family SMEs are estimated to be first generation businesses”.

“Without BPR these family firms would lose the opportunity to grow under stable ownership and successfully transition to the next generation”.

“We agree that all reliefs must deliver for the taxpayer. Business Relief is a perfect example of a relief that achieves exactly what it was designed to: enabling family business to plan for the long term and ensure jobs and prosperity are protected from one generation to the next.”


Steve Rigby, Co-CEO Rigby Group joins Family Business UK Board

Steve Rigby, Co-CEO Rigby Group joins Family Business UK Board

We are delighted to announce the appointment of prominent Midlands and UK Family business leader Steve Rigby of Rigby Group plc to the Board of Family Business UK.

Steve is responsible for leading strategy, finance & investments for the family in both the private and public markets, and has over 30 years’ experience contributing to the growth of the Rigby Group.

A UK Top ten wholly-owned family business, and one of the largest in the world, Rigby Group is rooted in the Midlands.

Since its inception in 1975, by Sir Peter Rigby, the Group has built a distinguished reputation as both an investor and business operator with a strong technology focus.

Today it is a multinational, service-based holding company for a portfolio of privately-owned businesses, employing over 8,500 employees across 8 countries.

Steve Rigby said:
“I am delighted to have joined the board of Family Business UK, which represents over 200 of the UK’s leading family businesses, ensuring their voice is heard when shaping policy and also that they are supported on their journey through the generations”.

“Rigby Group is proud to be a top 10 UK wholly-owned family company and in the world’s largest 500. We are strong supporters of the private sector economy, and the opportunities that come with it, thanks to its long-term outlook, regional diversification and short lines of decision making”.

“I hope to bring my passion for the sector, together with a deep knowledge of tax policy, to help ensure this critical sector of our economy flourishes and performs as an economic powerhouse for the nation.”

Other Board positions

Steve also sits on the boards of SCC, Rigby Technology Investments, Regional & City Airports, Rigby Real Estate, the Group’s hotel division, Nuvias Unified Communications, CloudClevr, Infinigate and Rigby Group.

The Family Business UK team welcomes Steve onto the board, and looks forward to benefitting from his considerable expertise and experience.

Family Business Week 2023 to Focus on “Future Leaders”

Following two successful campaigns in 2021 and 2022, we are delighted to share that Family Business Week will return in 2023.

This year, from the 20th to the 24th November, we will celebrate ‘Future Leaders’.  And we are calling on family businesses to help us champion the next generation of leaders.

Running for the first time, this year we will be recognising and championing the work of the next generation of family business leaders by showcasing individuals in a ‘Ones to Watch’ future leaders list.

Nominations are now open.

Those showcased individuals will be recognised as leading the way in areas such as product innovation, sustainability and ESG, social impact, diversity and inclusion, circular economy, good governance, or other aspects of being a leading sustainable and responsible business.

Whether family members or not, we want to showcase those young people who embody the spirit of innovation, sustainable growth and strong values that make family firms so special.

These inspiring individuals will be profiled during Family Business Week, where we will celebrate their contribution, and share insights from their journey to inspire and support other Future Leaders.

Why nominate?

  • Celebrate the incredible work of a young person in your business, and show your appreciation.
  • Raise their profile, and your company’s.
  • Inspire the next generation of family business leaders.

How To Nominate

It couldn’t be easier to nominate someone from your business. First check the criteria and make sure the person qualifies.

Then send us a email with the subject ‘Ones to Watch Nomination’ to

In your email include:

  • Your name.
  • Name of nominee and their role in the business.
  • No more than 750 words on why you are nominating them.

Criteria: To qualify for the list, nominees must:

  • Be under 40-years old.
  • Work in a family business.
  • Be making a difference in your business.

We will then review and shortlist the nominees, and if the person you have nominated is successful, we will get back in touch with you, so you can share the exciting news!

They don’t:-

  • Have to be a family member.
  • Have to work in your family business, as long as they work in a family business.
  • Have to work at a Family Business UK member company.

Our judging panel will be considering a number of criteria when reviewing nominations, including:

Taking the long term view: How is this person ensuring that they take a long term view to running their business?

Putting people first: How is this person ensuring that their business puts people at the heart of everything they do?

Taking a purpose-led approach: How is this person putting purpose at the heart of their business?

Innovating, investing and taking risks: What is this person doing to take a creative and innovative approach to their business?

Investing in local communities: What is this person doing to invest in their local community and act as a force for good in society?

We look forward to receiving your nomination, and celebrating Family Business Week 2023 with you.