“It is essential to empower, nurture and support companies that are environmentally responsible and committed to employment”

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a crisis in which family businesses will play a key role given their importance in the economy. They account for 88% of all private companies, contribute 69% of Gross Added Value (GAV) and generate 76% of private jobs.

The State of Alarm highlighted the importance of empowering, nurturing and supporting responsible companies, which generate environments of trust, are committed to employment and the environment, and are aimed at business continuity,” explains Fernando Álvarez, Deputy Director of the Chair in Family Business and Business Creation at the Abat Oliba CEU University, one of the five University Chairs sponsored by the ASCEF in Catalonia. “It is no coincidence that these are the most common characteristics of family businesses.”

With the State of Alarm having concluded, but with the Covid-19 situation prevailing, Mr Álvarez says that “the key to business continuity will be to address the uncertain future that awaits us, with the ability to convey to stakeholders a sense of confidence and control of the situation”.

Mr Álvarez adds that companies must know how to “generate and communicate experiences to consumers; have committed work teams; and possess sufficient liquidity for the remainder of the year, with reduced borrowing or without the need to generate new borrowing”.

Given the current situation, it will also be essential for companies to possess “the ability to adapt to circumstances and the regulatory changes introduced, through management with a visionary, empathetic leadership.”

In this situation, Mr Álvarez believes that “universities must continue to generate and share knowledge aimed at improving society and train new generations in how to make decisions in uncertain situations.”

The important role that companies play in job creation and social cohesion should be highlighted; together with the essential role assigned to the public sector in establishing the rules of the game that achieve competitive and inclusive growth of its economy. The public and the private sector need each other and should improve their understanding”.

The future depends on the need to promote a responsible and sustainable business fabric, which provides answers to an increasingly aware and demanding consumer. We are facing a paradigm shift that needs to receive a response and universities have much to say in this regard”, Mr Álvarez concludes.