A History of Small Business in America by Mansel G. Blackford

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By Mansel G. Blackford

From the colonial period to the current day, small companies were an essential component of yankee existence. First released in 1991 and now completely revised and up-to-date, A historical past of Small enterprise in America explores the imperative yet ever-changing function performed by way of small firms within the nation's financial, political, and cultural development.

Examining small companies in production, revenues, prone, and farming, Mansel Blackford argues that whereas small companies have continually been very important to the nation's improvement, their importance has assorted significantly in numerous time classes and in several segments of our economic climate. all through, he relates small enterprise improvement to adjustments in America's total company and monetary platforms and gives comparisons among the expansion of small enterprise within the usa to its improvement in different international locations. He locations unique emphasis at the significance of small enterprise improvement for ladies and minorities. specific in its breadth, this publication offers the one accomplished evaluation of those major topics.

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Extra resources for A History of Small Business in America

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On the other hand, at a time when some whites were moving into the creation of large manufacturing businesses, no blacks succeeded in doing so, for they lacked the necessary capital and, moreover, had little experience in the management of such enterprises. Like their white counterparts, black entrepreneurs often used inherited wealth, connections, and apprenticeships in family enterprises to get ahead. As before, black efforts in small business paralleled those of whites. Toward a Business Ideology The United States has developed as a nation with a business culture, and business people have generally been admired and looked up to as leaders in American society.

In retailing, as in wholesaling, specialization began in the antebellum years where markets were large enough and concentrated enough to support it. Although country stores selling a broad range of goods remained important in some rural areas well into the twentieth century, they soon gave way to more specialized outlets in cities. Retail drug stores, bookstores, and jewelry stores made their appearance in the antebellum years. Shoe and furniture stores were less common, but not unknown. Although fully developed department stores came into existence only after the Civil War, forerunners were on the scene in the 1840s.

In all of these enterprises, success depended in part on family ties and networks, which provided credit and labor, and on having access to white markets. All-black markets at this time usually were too small in terms of purchasing power to support black businesses by themselves. In the antebellum years, black business people built on what they had established earlier. Some slaves continued to hire their own time from their masters to allow them to work as craftsmen in urban enterprises that they or others created.

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