1914-15 there were 71 businesses listed for Helper, with 84 in 1918-19,
and 157 for the years 1924-25. Many of Helper's business enterprises
were associated with specific ethnic groups, but this fact illustrated
the business opportunities then available in the town, enabling immigrants
to "break the ranks of labor." Italian and Chinese-owned businesses
were joined in the 1910s and 1920s by Slavic, Greek, and Japanese establishments.
Specialty shops, cafes, coffeehouses, saloons, theaters, general mercantiles,
and various service-oriented businesses formed Helper's commercial district.
Some ventures, such as the Mutual Mercantile Company, were joint operations
between different ethnic groups.
identities, the existence of both inter- and intra-group rivalries,
new waves of immigration, and Helper's position as a neutral ground
for labor influenced the town's social landscape. Helper became known
as the area "hub" because it was nestled among various mining camps,
and it served as a city of refuge where strikers and union organizers
as well as national guardsmen could congregate during tense times. Customs
and lifestyles associated with various ethnic groups continued; however,
through interaction many eventually were changed and modified in the