East Anglia Family Business Day 2019

East Anglia Famly Business Day in 2018 included this special event at Ravenwood Hall, Bury St Edmund

East Anglia Famly Business Day in 2018 included this special event at Ravenwood Hall, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: BIRKETTS - Credit: Archant

A special event is being held at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa next week to celebrate the contribution that family businesses make across East Anglia, to the local economy and communities.

Stoke by Nayland Hotel - Food feature.

Stoke by Nayland Hotel - Food feature. - Credit: Archant

Family firms are set to celebrate East Anglia Family Business Day on Thursday January 31.

Businesses throughout East Anglia are being encouraged to take part, sharing their pride and celebrating their family ownership via a social media campaign using the hashtag #EastAngliaFamilyBizDay.

There is often a perception that family owned businesses are small businesses however, 1,500 family owned businesses employ between 50-250 staff and the top 20 family owned businesses nationally – contribute £49bn to the UK economy.

There are also around 15,000 medium to large family owned businesses and within East Anglia they employ 1.2 million people.

Adam Jones, partner and head of Family Business at Birketts said: “East Anglian family businesses come in all sizes, from all sectors and from all over the region. The aim of East Anglia Family Business Day is to celebrate the sector in our region, put family firms on the map and help to show their importance to the identity of East Anglia.”

East Anglia had a rich variety of family-owned businesses, he said, from food and drink firms who had grown from the farming community, to the leisure area including hotels and restaurants, motor dealerships and manufacturing, including clothing manufacture.

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In celebration of East Anglia Family Owned Business Day on Thursday January 31, Birketts will be hosting a special event at the Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa.

This resort is part of the family-owned Boxford Group, which also includes the Boxford (Suffolk) Farms fruit growing enterprise and Peake Fruit, a fruit pack house, storage and marketing business.

Now in its second and third generation of Peake family owners and directors, the Boxford Group has been substantially expanded, and continues to thrive with the help of their team of up to 600 staff across the three businesses.

The BBC featured the family business in three Troubleshooter TV documentaries between 1989 and 1999, with Sir John Harvey Jones, the ex-chairman of ICI.

The programmes focused on the Boxford fruit farm, Stoke by Nayland Golf Club and the success of the Copella business which the family eventually sold. A lot of ‘difficult conversations’ were raised during the programmes and the Peake family continued to develop the business to the one that remains today.

Birketts has issued an invitation to other family businesses to attend the event.

A spokesman said: “If you are a family owned business and would like to come and watch the first of these documentaries at the Stoke by Nayland Hotel and hear from the current generation of the Peake family about how the business has changed, the lessons they learned, what they took on board from the programme and what they ignored, please email alison-hamilton@birketts.co.uk.

The event starts at 4.15pm and will be followed by drinks and dinner which you are also welcome to join.”

Paul Andrews founder and managing director of Family Business United (a membership organisation supporting Family Owned Businesses throughout the UK), said: “East Anglia Family Business Day is an opportunity for family firms across the region to celebrate their success, to make a collective voice to show their importance to the local, regional and national economy and we are delighted to be able to continue to champion such a vibrant and diverse group of businesses too.”

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