I always start with Mergent Intellect because it tells me whether it is a private or public company, whether or not I am looking at information on the headquarters, and finally, whether my company is a subsidiary or parent company.
You can find reliable information about economic history in several of the library's databases. I'm listing these in your instructor's order of preference! Different databases have different articles, so consider searching more than one.
Click the info icon to get helpful hints for searching that particular database.