Tuesday, January 26, 2010

305 Companies and Counting.....

One of my student researchers, Alison Meshkin, has put together our first "scrubbed" list of U.S. companies over 100 years old and it has over 300 companies on it. This list consists mostly of large, national companies. Another student researcher, Kurt Goldsby, has a list of around 30 Michigan companies we have culled from various sources, including newspaper stories and ads. I'm sure there are many smaller local or regional companies we can add to our data base as we hear about them, so I am sending this appeal to my "followers" out there to post a comment when you hear of a company that should be part of this Century Club.

Monday, January 11, 2010

100-Year-Old Businesses Lost in 2009

According to CNN Money.com more than 45,000 businesses closed their doors for good in 2009, including some that survived for longer than a century. They profile six of these historic companies that vanished, including a candy company and several retailers in businesses as varied as school supplies, food and a department store.

I just heard from a friend that the century-old independent bank for which he had been a board member is being acquired. These economic times are tough on many companies, but it is particularly sad to see these old companies with all their history go away. For many customers and community members, it's like losing an old friend. (One owner reports that he is still receiving condolences from area residents about the store's closing in August.)

It is my hope that identifying common success factors of those century-old companies that do survive might help other companies weather tough times.