The creation of the Family Owned Business Institute at Grand Valley State University is born out of the collective belief that family businesses (large and small) are the cornerstone of a community’s prosperity and a vital ingredient in its quality of life. Our national and regional history has demonstrated that it is in the best interest of communities to foster the creation, growth, and continuation of family owned businesses because they and their members:
- Are leaders in job creation, innovation, and in providing stable employment opportunities with superior wages and benefits for their employees.
- Strategically think and act over the long term (generational) with a greater willingness to sacrifice short-term profitability, oftentimes resulting in greater community investment and stability.
- Act in a responsible, ethical manner with customers, employees, and the community at large in part due to the association of family values and reputation with the business unit.
- Are environmentally and socially responsible stewards of the resources they control and influence.
- Are specialists in building, maintaining, and managing a core culture of values most often associated with hard work, sacrifice, service, integrity, quality, loyalty, trust, respect, and commitment.
- Tend to be community leaders in philanthropic activities and are generally active volunteers and financial supporters of their communities.