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Financing Small Corporations in Five Manufacturing Industries, 1926-36

  • Political Science


The Economic Character of Small Business This PDF is a selection from an out-of-print volume from the National Bureau of Economic Research Volume Title: Financing Small Corporations in Five Manufacturing Industries, 1926-36 Volume Author/Editor: Charles L. Merwin Volume Publisher: NBER Volume ISBN: 0-870-14130-9 Volume URL: Publication Date: 1942 Chapter Title: The Economic Character of Small Business Chapter Author: Charles L. Merwin Chapter URL: Chapter pages in book: (p. 7 - 24) 0 THE ECONOMIC CHARACTER OF SMALL RUSINESS High on the list of the characteristic features of this country' $ SCOOO is the impressive frequency of ,i business enterprises. In the United States today there are cut 2.5 million business units (not counting the 6 .(lI4 fairs or the 1 millIon professiona]. persons), and of these the great jority are small, h3wever we measure the sisa of an enterprise. Less than a tenth of these business units employ more than 30 persons each, or have total assets greater than $250,00a Although the Ca- reer of the a who rose from a shipping clerkship to the presidency of a .illlon-dollar co:poration hi.s been more widely pablicised, the story of the tailor who became a clothing nufacturer or the cabinetmaker who set up his shop as an interior decorator has a stronger ring of f4I4kr truth. For every millionaire industrialist who first passed through his factory gates as an huthie work- n, there are thousands of unsung sller-scale enter- priser. who entered their chosen field of production with very little more in the y of resources than the will to succeed. It is the 1l establisheents of such men that have been widely regarded as the "backbone of the Ameri- can econc," and these era and proprietors have con- stituted a vary large section of the American middle class, with it. vested interest in political dcracy and fr.s private enterprise. Mumericall.y the 11 business unit dominates

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