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Explanation: It could be a 'close relationship with the owners'.
Would that fit the context better?
Michael Ellis United Kingdom Local time: 18:25 Specializes in field Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 39
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks for your suggestion Michael. That certainly would fit better but the entrepreneurs are also the owners in this instance - I feel they are talking about the close ownership they have of their products - ie. they are close to the design, development and manufacture processes, but this seems clumsy to me. Will have to check this one with the client.
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