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How to Start a Business in a Recession Economic cycles come and go, but businesses must thrive in good times and bad. Fat Straws Bubble Tea's Terry Pham launched during a recession and survived two downturns. Learn how Pham and other entrepreneurs made a go of it in tough times.

By Rich Karpinski

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The early years of this century have already seen two significant downturns: the dot-com bubble-and-burst, and the housing-crash-led recession of 2009. Terry Pham launched his first Dallas-area bubble-tea store during one and survived them both.

Now Pham and many entrepreneurs like him are weighing the risks of running--and even more daunting, starting--new businesses in economically perilous times.

Pham's lessons learned--based on his experiences and losses as a child of immigrants and rounded out by more than a decade of running the unlikely success story of a specialty tea shop in central Texas--tell a tale of perseverance, loyalty to family (and co-workers) and optimism in the face of adversity. His story offers guidance and inspiration that apply to any business cycle.

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