By  on August 5, 2008

With the economy tanking, family-owned businesses need to be more nimble than ever to survive and maintain their independence.

The fashion world has no shortage of family dynasties — the Versaces, Missonis, Pradas and Ferragamos just to name a few. Retailers can also hold their own in terms of family businesses — for example, Nordstrom, Mitchells/Richards, Dillard’s and Belks. Others have faltered, like Boscov’s, which on Monday filed for Chapter 11. There are believed to be 24 million family businesses in the U.S., and some 60 percent of the workforce is employed by family enterprises, according to the Family Business Review, published by the Family Firm Institute.

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