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Family Businesses in Egypt Fight to Stay Open Amid COVID-19 Woes

September 24, 2020

The rapid outbreak of COVID-19 had an impact on all businesses in different industries all over the world, but family businesses have been uniquely affected by the pandemic in terms of operations, cashflow, and losses. Family-owned businesses represent over 60 percent of Egyptian companies, according to the Egyptian Centre for Economic Studies. A separate study by law firm Al Tamimi & Co found that family businesses in Egypt contribute to the national income by around 80 percent and constitute about 75 percent of the private sector’s activity, and employ approximately 70 percent of the labor force. Assistant Professor at the Department of Management at the American University in Cairo Ashraf Sheta said that the spectrum of family businesses affected locally is so wide, starting from small businesses like kiosks to large companies. Family business-owners had to make firm decisions to deal with the implications of COVID-19 and to handle the crisis, which not only affected their business but also their families. “Members of a family business have close ties between one another. Strong bonds and relationships develop by time, unlike regular businesses, which makes it harder to make a decision…

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