Revival of Small Business

March 21, 1945

Report Outline
Place of Small Business in National Economy
Efforts to Protect and Assist Small Business
Revival of Small Business After World War II
Special Focus

Place of Small Business in National Economy

Decline of Small Business in World War II

During the period of united States participation in World War II, to date, half a million small businesses have disappeared from the American economy. It is generally agreed that postwar conditions of prosperity, and the absorption of eleven million service people into useful employment, require large-scale restoration of suspended businesses and the establishment of many new enterprises, both small and large.

Wartime requirements for rapid production and quick action on war contracts have accentuated a prewar trend toward concentration of production and business activity in a relatively few corporations of great size. At the same time many small concerns engaged in service and distribution activities, and in production of luxury goods, have found it necessary to curtail or cease operations for lack of manpower and materials. Thousands of one-man businesses have closed as their owners entered the armed forces or elected to take war jobs. Fears have been widely expressed that wartime changes and wholesale business terminations have sounded the death knell of small business enterprise in the United States.

Varying Definitions of “Small Business” Enterprise

Small business has been defined in terms of its capital valuation, the number of its employees, and its relation to competitors. Generally speaking, small business is any kind of economic enterprise below the level of the moderate-sized corporation. For purposes of political agitation, it has been almost anything not clearly recognizable as a “trust.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Small Business
Jun. 19, 1987  Small Business
Jan. 28, 1983  Small Business: Trouble on Main Street
Oct. 23, 1957  Aid to Small Business
Aug. 24, 1955  Future of Small Business
Mar. 02, 1950  Financial Aid for Small Business
Mar. 21, 1945  Revival of Small Business
Mar. 04, 1942  Small Business and the War
Jul. 01, 1939  Government Loans to Small Business
Apr. 03, 1934  Small Business Under the N.R.A.
Small Business