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Recession? What Recession?

How three companies beat the odds and made 2009 a very good year

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This story appears in the May 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What do dry cleaning, real estate and hotels have in common? The bad news is, they were all hit hard by the economic downturn. The good news is, well, it's not all bad news for these industries. Each had companies that defied the odds, powered through the challenges of 2009 and came out on top of their categories--for the first time, no less--in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500® ranking. We talked with the top execs in each company about their secrets to surviving the recession and standing out from the crowd.

Certified Restoration DryCleaning Network

As consumers cut the luxuries from their budgets, dry cleaning businesses suffered. But not Certified Restoration DryCleaning Network. That's because CRDN's business focuses on textile restoration for disaster victims.

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