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Hospitality’s Loss is Healthcare’s Gain in 2020

March 25, 2020 Family businesses and family offices have been swept up in an economic shift triggered by the global COVID-9 pandemic this year.

Major hotel chains are temporarily closing properties and seeing occupancy rates tumble as travelers stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak. Global hospitality research company STR said Wednesday that for the week of March 8-14, hotel occupancy was down 24.4% to 53% year-over-year. Some of the largest hotel chains in the U.S., including Hilton Group and Hyatt, are family-owned. President Trump admitted his resorts and hotels, another family business, were hurting too.

In Texas, billionaire Tilman Fertitta furloughed 40,000 workers, about 70% of his family-owned casino, hotel and restaurant empire workforce.

As the crisis escalates, demand seems to have moved to companies focused on health and wellness. Italy-based GVS started out making filters for medical devices, later branching out into masks and more specialized filters for the auto industry. The company was founded by Grazia Valentini Scagliarini in 1979. Now led by one of Scagliarini’s children, CEO Massimo Scagliarini, GVS is positioning itself to meet the needs of the growing crisis and emerge stronger than it was before. Convinced there was an untapped market for industrial filters, he encouraged each of his three daughters to start a company making filters for different industries.

The company is trying to expand the company’s health and safety division to capitalize on the demand for biohazard masks across the world. GVS donated filters and supplies in Wuhan from its factory in China and is now ramping up production in the US as the outbreak proceeds.

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