The definition of family is changing, and so is the look of what for years has been known as a “traditional family.” Now, “family” transcends the characterization of being born of the same lineage or even the traditional male-female representation of a couple.
Today’s definition of family is more what you make it. It is centered on feelings, history, shared experiences and emotion, rather than solely on shared genetics.
In this issue of Indiana Minority Business Magazine, we profile power couples and family businesses that represent different industries and regions throughout Indiana. Some of those featured also break barriers every day while tending to the day-to-day operations of their businesses.
One such couple is Noell and Crystal Allen, owners of A Total Solution CPA & Consulting Service. The Allens are triple minorities: they are African-American, female and lesbian. In a predominately conservative state like Indiana, that could be intimidating for even the strongest individual, but our two cover girls take their distinct categorizations in stride, as they are committed to raising their young daughter, expanding their business and advocating for a multitude of issues.
To be honest, when IMBM’s newsroom staff initially considered featuring the Allens on the cover of our magazine, we deliberated on everything, including the potential positive and negative feedback The ultimate decision was to be authentic to our subjects and our demographic, which includes business leaders and minorities in general. What greater way to represent minorities and the business community than by featuring a couple who encompasses so many of those qualities?
But our cover profile isn’t solely about power couples; it’s also about family-owned businesses and how entrepreneurs co-exist in professional settings with members of their families.
IMBM’s sister publication is the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper. From the very beginning, the 121-year-old publication has been owned by families, most recently the Mays family. There are many positive benefits of working for a family-owned company. Among those that seem to be most appreciated by employees are the sense of loyalty, passion and genuine regard for one another. In essence, many family-owned businesses have succeeded at making their employees also feel like part of the family, which in turn garners favorable results for the company. These type of scenarios are win-win for both the employer and the employee, and the results are making a tremendous impact nationally. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, family businesses employ 63 percent of the country’s workforce and generate 75 percent of all new jobs. Additionally, of the 5.5 million family-owned businesses in the United States, they generate 57 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The numbers paint a very clear picture, and they demonstrate the true impact of family-owned businesses. That’s why the companies we profiled in this issue of IMBM are so significant: they are contributing to the local economy as well as the national economy, while simultaneously enhancing the lives of employees and simply making them feel good … like family.
Family-owned businesses make a tremendous investment in the community, and the ROI they receive in return is even greater.
I salute each of the family businesses featured in this issue of IMBM. Entrepreneurship can certainly be challenging, but each of those featured took a leap of faith, and now they are not only succeeding, they are being impactful as well.
That is a wonderful example of living the American dream!