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We collected data for this report in several ways. Companies were asked to fill out a form online providing data about revenues, trends and executives. In addition, forms were sent to companies known to be the largest players in their sectors. We also utilized SEC annual filings for public companies.
In the end, not every company was willing to provide us with revenue data for 2009, yet we deemed it important to include them anyway (e.g. McMaster-Carr, Border States Industries).
We utilized several resources to estimate where to place these companies on their respective lists. These resources included: past reported revenues, average revenue declines within the sectors, data from economic reports and conversations with industry experts.
All companies for which we estimated revenues and/or position are notated with "NA."
Revenues for all companies in this report are provided in U.S. dollars, with the exception of Sonepar. For companies who report their data in other currencies, we converted their revenues to U.S. dollars using the exchange rate in place on the last day of that company's reported fiscal year to determine ranking.