Solutions for Family Businesses

Family Business Forum Online

Are you in a family-owned business?  If so, you're not alone!

According to the Harvard Business School, at least half of all companies in the U.S. are family businesses, and just over half of all publicly traded companies in the U.S. are family owned.


And family businesses are some of the best businesses in the world:

  • Family businesses show higher profitability in the long run
  • Family businesses are less likely to lay people off and more likely to hire despite the possibility of an economic downturn
  • Family businesses are more likely to give charitably to their respective communities
  • Family businesses have a more long-term strategic outlook due to their main motivation consisting of creating a legacy for generations to come
  • Family businesses are less likely to raise debt and are widely deemed financially prudent.

Special challenges

Yet family businesses also bring special challenges not faced in non-family owned businesses.  These special challenges are reflected in the widely referenced observation that 30% of family firms survive through the second generation, 13% survive the third generation, and only 3% survive beyond that.


Family Business Forum Online has been created to provide a central hub for family businesses to learn, ask questions, and network with other family businesses. 

Online Resources

Radio Show

Family Business Experts

The Family Business Forum Radio Show

The Family Business Forum Radio Show, broadcast on the last Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. on News Talk 760 WJR, brings real family business stories and family business expertise to listeners.  The "local" signal for WJR goes beyond Metropolitan Detroit to include Flint, Lansing, Toledo, Cleveland, and London, Ontario.  (WJR is a clear channel station whose broadcasts can be heard throughout much of the eastern half of North America at night.)


The hosts of the Family Business Forum Radio Show (Karen Collingsworth-Crusse, Jeff Smith and Donald Levitt), and other experts selected to support Family Business Forum Online, provide professional assistance for family businesses of all sizes. Please contact us to find out more about how we can help your family business.


Our sponsors are experts in serving family businesses.

Hawthorn PNC Family Wealth

Platinum Sponsor

Hawthorn is a premier provider of integrated financial services to families of very significant wealth. We see our firm as a company of people for people and we define our success solely by the success of our clients. Each day we earn the trust of the families we serve, helping aspirations take root and legacies grow so family trees can thrive for generations to come.

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP - Sean H. Cook

Gold Sponsor

Sean Cook’s practice encompasses many diverse areas of law: tax, mergers and acquisitions, closely held businesses, trusts and estates and general corporate and charity law. Sean works with businesses on a variety of complex tax matters. He is well versed in the application process for tax-exempt status for startup companies and has also converted many for-profit organizations to nonprofit status. Sean represents both buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions and provides due diligence counsel all the way through structuring and closing sale agreements. Sean’s knowledge and versatility in many practice areas allows him to be especially valuable to his clients. He’s a problem solver, positions himself in the client’s seat and works with a sense of urgency towards favorable outcomes. Sean is the chair of the Warner Norcross Tax Practice Group, the chair of the MiCPA M&A committee task force, is a former MiCPA board member (1999-2015) and is a Certified Public Accountant. 

Levitt Consulting, Inc.

Gold Sponsor

Levitt Consulting, Inc. is a specialist consulting firm which:

• Helps to develop successful leaders

• Assists in building relationships and managing change

• Brings clarity to the development and implementation of strategic plans

• Facilitates effective governance and succession.


Our extensive experience across public, private and family-owned businesses allows us to bring senior-level expertise and best practices customized for each of our clients.

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