The significant contribution that family-owned businesses make to the UK economy has been highlighted in a new report by Oxford Economics and the Institute for Family Business (IFB).

Since 2013 family businesses have increased employment by 6% and turnover has also risen 2% to reach £1.3 trillion. In addition, family firms have paid £125bn in taxes, and contributed over a quarter (26%) of the UK’s entire GDP.

The retail and wholesale sector boasts the highest number of family-owned businesses, accounting for almost one in 10 in the UK, and 89% of all private sector firms in the industry

In addition, half of the UK’s family businesses plan to grow their organisations over the next 12 months, and 43% say they will invest in improving the skills of their workforce to support this growth.

A third also (33%) plan to invest in new machinery, technology and premises.

Peter Armitage, chairman of the IFB, said: “The report sheds light on the sheer size and scale of the family business community.

“It’s an important reminder of how vital family-run firms are to the UK – serving as the backbone of our economy, with family firms making a phenomenal contribution across all sectors, industries and regions.

“Family businesses have always been at the very heart of the UK economy and based on the steady rise in their recruitment and turnover, it is clear they are here to stay. It’s encouraging to see family firms with such a buoyant attitude towards their future expansion - almost half of family SMEs expect to grow over the next two to three years.”