Most theoretical and empirical studies of capital structure focus on large corporations. Only a limited number of studies on capital structure have been conducted on micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMS), and this deficiency is particularly evident in investigations into factors that influence funding decisions of family business owners. The study aims to explore the capital structure and financing preferences of MSMS firms owners and focuses more narrowly on the debt vs. equity preferences revealed in the initial and ongoing financing of MSMS firms in forest products industry. In this study, financial preferences of MSMS firm owners in forest products industry were investigated in 18 cities across the Black Sea Region in Turkey. Some of the financial characteristics and capital structure of these sectors were identified on the basis of a sample survey of 851 firms. The preliminary results that emerged from the study illustrate that owners of MSMS firms preferred internal financial sources against too high cost capital from external market in initial and ongoing facilities of firms. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.