The Rewards of Working in a Family Business
In Chapter 12 of 21 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, New York City Council candidate and public relations executive Ken Biberaj notes how the shared experience working with family has helped him build trust across family generations and put a foundation in place for future generations. He shares what he has learned from other family business owners and how it plays into the American immigrant experience. Ken Biberaj is currently a 2013 Candidate for New York City Council.
Erik: What have you found most rewarding about working in a family business? Ken: It’s always fun working – I think it’s always fun working in a family business. It’s not a pass for an easy experience by any means, you know, so my uncle has worked so hard for everything he’s ever had, and for me it’s been great to be able to do whatever I can to kind of help him through this process, I think working with family is a great thing, I think learning from family is a great thing because it’s just such a shared experience. The last 7 years have just been invaluable to kind of build a relationship and the level of trust with my uncle where – you know, now we’re just so on the same page with everything whether it’s the Russian Tea Room or real estate, you know, we kind of trust each other, we understand it’s about helping ourselves and our family and kind of creating more opportunity for the younger generation of our family. It is so many people’s story in New York, right? I mean countless immigrants who have moved here who are starting businesses and restaurants, we had an event last night and I was talking to a restaurant operator and he’s a 4th generation restaurateur and he’s convinced that he’s gonna be the last one running that restaurant because the city has just made it so hard for them to succeed, that even though he would like to pass it down, it’s just gonna be kind of impractical. But you wanna kind of have a place where people come to New York and they can succeed as a family and they can start their business and they can pass it down one generation to the next and you know we need to kind of help support that and you know being a part of a small business that is run by a family member has kind of helped to reinforce that need and sense of community for me, ‘cause community always starts with family too.