In this podcast, originally aired on Chicago’s premier talk-radio station, WGN, Lisa Olson discusses family business opportunities being created through the COVID-19 pandemic. In the U.S., there are roughly 5.5 million family businesses . They contribute more than 50% to GDP and employ about 60% of U.S. workers (78 million people in 2019). Yet, only about 12% of family businesses successfully transfer from the first to the third generations. This is an ongoing challenge in the best of times. But does it make sense to focus on succession planning in the middle of a pandemic?
Lisa explains how COVID-19 and the associated economic fallout is creating real opportunities for family businesses, only about 18% of which have a formal succession plan. She discusses three factors —record-high estate and gift tax exemptions, depressed market valuations and historically low interest rates—that are impacting succession planning. She believes this is the best time to create a well-thought-through plan. In an election year, all of these factors are subject to change in the near future.
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