Company town

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A company town is a town where nearly all businesses and housing is actually owned by the company. During the early days of the American Industrial Revolution, employees were forced to rent houses from their employer and buy only from the company store (which would charge exorbitant prices, keeping the workers essentially in economic bondage to the company; country singer Tennessee Ernie Ford, in his song "Sixteen Tons", lamented "St. Peter don't you call me cause I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store").

Changes in the law forced the end of company owned towns. Today, the term refers to an area which is dominated (and dependent) on one employer's business success or failure.