While some states didn't feel the sting of this recession that much, California got hit very hard, but not everybody. I am not one to play the stock market or invest or start a venture, but I have followed a few organizations which did well. I don't know if it's the product/service, or the reduced competition these days, or a combination of both. Hot Topic - At the very worst part of the recession, our small shopping mall with several dozen stores, mostly large companies, were all doing badly except for Hot Topic. Pac Sun, Zumiez, Hollister, The Gap, Victoria's Secret, Macy's, Mervyn's, Anchor Blue, Champs, Foot Locker, and American Eagle were telling the local press about hard times while Hot Topic was cashing in on the others not doing so good. They posted the only balance sheet in the black. The only thing I think, as I have gone to all the other stores a lot, is that Hot Topic is not only cheap but they keep on top of what's hot in youth culture. Golden Gate University - I just read a student's magazine on the school, and while they mentioned employee cutbacks and reduced revenue among most private colleges, public colleges, and junior colleges, Golden Gate University not only didn't feel the recession, but they grew in this time. I think it's their large online student populace (about half of the classes enrolled) which has helped this school. They have maintained their tuition where others have hiked theirs in this recession. I don't think the actual dollar amount per unit is the issue, as all schools cater to a certain economic group, but what counts is that a school doesn't change its tuition three times a year as public California universities have had to do some years. Freshman and Sophomores just saw the writing on the wall and returned to junior college, got their first two years out of the way, and then re-enrolled in their four year school. Used clothing stores - As I seem to see major outlets (Mervyn's and Anchor Blue going out of business in my neck of the woods), used clothing stores are popping up everywhere. The top income maker for the year for the county, for size of business, was a used baby and toddler clothing store. This makes sense since there's little reason to buy new if a child is going to outgrow clothing fast and children's clothing new is very expensive. Used music stores - As a musician, I have seen the prices of new instruments go down dramatically while the computer revolution has allowed manufacturing quality to stay high or even improve. But stores which carry new instruments fail everywhere I look or lay off a majority of their employees. During the recession, which our state still has, is a time where I see the used music stores thrive. Anyway, who have you seen get through this recession with success and even growth in your state/city?