CORVALLIS - Business is business - but when the business is owned and operated by a family, things can get complicated. "When Families and Businesses Are Linked," a half-day workshop exploring some of the special issues faced by family businesses, will be offered via teleconference at three Oregon sites on Monday, Nov. 2.

Although the free workshop is intended for those who teach or work directly with small family businesses, one session - on the Oregon State University campus - is open to the public. The workshop, sponsored by OSU's Austin Family Business Program, grew out of an award-winning, multidisciplinary research program sponsored over the past three years by Oregon Sea Grant.

"Family businesses can be wonderful. Where else do you get to work with those whom you love the most?" said Patricia Frishkoff, director of the Austin Family Business Program. "But they fail at alarming rates, because of economic conditions and for many other reasons, including inadequate communication and lack of planning."

Frishkoff and OSU sociologist Anisa Zvonkovic put together the workshop, which is being coordinated by the Oregon Small Business Development Network.

Small business development instructors are invited to attend the 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. workshop at either Clackamas Community College in suburban Portland, or at the Mary Phipps Center in Medford. Others who are interested may attend at OSU's Kidder Hall.

The three sites will be linked via two-way audio and video through the state's EdNet teleconferencing satellite; participants will receive written materials and be able to participate in teleconference discussion throughout the morning. Although the conference is free, preregistration is required to arrange for handouts and parking. To register, contact the Austin Family Business Program at 1-800-859-7609 or 541-737-3326.

Clark Hammond, executive director of the Family Business Initiative at the University of South Dakota, will present the keynote address, "Key Issues for Families to Discuss about Business."

Frishkoff and Zvonkovic will discuss "The Business of Family Business" and "Coping Strategies for Families Where Business Takes Dad Away." Their talks draw from their experience with Sea Grant's award-winning Adapting to Change project, which brought together six teams of OSU economists, anthropologists and social scientists to examine the unusual challenges faced by fishing families, businesses, communities and regions.

Joining the researchers was an outreach team made up of Extension Sea Grant agents and specialists, which helped deliver research results back to the participating communities.

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Pat Frishkoff, 541-737-6017