For most of the nine years after the longest recession to hit the U.S. since World War II, big corporations had the money and resources to withstand the 2008 financial crisis and invest in the aftermath.

In that period, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway snapped up Burlington Northern railroad, cable-provider Comcast bought the NBC network, and small businesses struggled to attract both consumers and creditors.

“The world evolves unevenly,” Jim Glassman, head economist for Chase Commercial Bank, told the Washington Examiner. “When the economy starts to get back on its feet, it’s always the big guys that are the first to see it. Smaller businesses hear about things happening but don’t really see it.”

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