Building a Foundation
Read the business section of almost any major metropolitan newspaper, and you will find that most of the stories are written about large companies with stock traded on an exchange in New York.
For example, the front page of the business section of the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC, on December 12, 2002 featured articles about Quintiles Transnational, a Durham-based drug company that is a public company, as well as Bank of America, the Charlotte-based bank that is also public. Inside the section were articles about defense contractor Northrop Grumman and phone company Sprint, also public companies. All of these stories mentioned how big these companies are in terms of revenue or profits.
But read the business section of a paper in a smaller town or city, and the stories are likely about small, private companies that are not required to disclose information about their operations. For example, the December 12, 2002 front page of the business section of the Huntsville Times in Alabama contained a story about Alterations & More, a one-woman alteration and sewing business. As a private company, this alteration business was not required to disclose its revenue and