The clothiers, of course, had support industries, who similarly made "investments" in the south. But the really insidious mechanism, the one that kept blacks in "economic" slavery, was the, "company store." Blacks were rented the land, on which many had been enslaved, and grub-staked all that was needed to live and farm the land, in an "equal" partnership. The black folks got seed, tools, food, clothing, livestock, medical supplies, and more from the company store. That seemed to be a good thing except that the company store always charged more for the items than the folks could pay back, thus, leaving them broke, or owing more than they had earned.