East is family business hot spot

The tradition of family businesses is alive and well in East Anglia, according to a new survey

THE tradition of family businesses is alive and well in East Anglia, according to Yellow Pages.

Both Norwich and Peterborough rank in the top five Yellow Pages directories for the highest number of firms with either “& son”or “& daughter” after their names.

The Cambridge directory, which includes Bury St Edmunds, is 13th out of 104 directories in total, and Colchester is ranked in 43rd place. Ipswich, however, has fewer and comes in in 78th place.

Top hotspot across the UK as a whole was Northern Ireland,, with Peterborough and Norwich in second and third places respectively.

“As a whole, East Anglian performed really well,” a Yell spokesman said.

Builders emerge as the top business sector for family firms, according to the survey of business names, followed by farmers and funeral directors.

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Although traditionally marked out by “& son” or “& sons” suffixes, the survey found that daughters are now making their mark on UK family businesses.

Although outnumbered by almost 140 to one, “& daughter” businesses are covering an increasing diversity of enterprises from butchers and fishmongers to builders, painters and decorators.

Caroline Williams, chief executive officer at Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and one of the judges in yell's Best Family Business Awards, said: “East Anglia has a large number of family-run companies, not only in the traditional sectors of retail and agriculture but increasingly running cutting-edge businesses. They are a vital component to help grow the economy in this region.”

To celebrate the contribution family businesses make to the UK's local communities and economy, Yell is offering a national prize, worth around £13,000, in its first ever Yell Best Family Business Award.

To enter, visit www.familybusinessawards.com before the end of this month. Five family businesses in each region will be chosen to go forward to the national final in March. The overall winner in each region will receive a £1,500 cash prize. The person who nominates the winning business will win a £250 cash prize.