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Undefeated Seasons

It's been a year since September 11 made Americans ask how we would ever get back to business as usual. How have business owners fared? Resisting the dual forces of terror and recession proved to be a challenge entrepreneurs were able to step up to.

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This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If Shirley Dreifus had not overslept on the morning of September 11, 2001, she and most of her staff would most likely have died when a Boeing 767 plowed into 1 World Trade Center. Her company, Strategic Communications Group Inc., had offices several floors below the main point of impact. "I understand that my office was gone immediately," says Dreifus, who was on the phone with her staff when the first plane hit. "I think a lot of people wouldn't have made it because we would have been meeting in my office--if I had been on time."

As it turned out, all 22 employees made it out safely after Dreifus directed rescue workers by phone to the adjoining office where they were trapped by a locked stairwell. "It really was a miracle," says the 54-year-old Manhattan resident, who owns Strategic Communications with Farhan Ali, 40.

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