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Business Report

Most business partnerships have the longevity of a Hollywood romance. It’s rare to find partners whose relationship withstands the test of time, but after some serious searching we found several in Southwest Florida.

We spoke to three pairs of partners who have been in business together for many years to find out how they’ve made it work, including Sukie Honeycutt and Tony Ridgway at Ridgway Bar & Grill. They told us how they overcame serious road blocks—from hurricane devastation to divorce and business choices that could have cost millions—and why they’re glad they didn’t go on the ride alone.

You don’t like the idea of dating a co-worker, yet lately you’ve noticed that Jane (or Jim) from down the hall is really attractive, and you’re finding new excuses to chat up this colleague. Are you aware of the possible consequences?

The Society for Human Resources Management, the world’s largest association of its kind, and CareerJournal.com, a Web site of The Wall Street Journal, jointly conducted a survey in 2005 to examine policies and opinions about office romance. Among the findings: Workers and HR professionals have strong concerns about dating co-workers, but few companies have prohibitive office-romance policies.

We asked HR and legal experts for advice on how to handle a variety of office-romance scenarios—whether you’re in love or just working with lovebirds. Learn the rules before you primp for that lunch date.

When business owner Sue Paul saw a major customer laying off employees, she started to panic. Paul feared that the sad state of the economy would undercut her company—and she started expressing this negativity at work.

Conversations with her employees made her realize that she was harming company morale, so she forced herself to think differently. Her new approach: Expect the best, but plan for the worst. It was the first of several steps she took to make sure her company stayed competitive in an economic downturn.

Paul and several other business owners are trying new strategies for saving, and even making, money during slow times. Find out which methods work best, in the February issue of Gulfshore Business.

For more Gulfshore Business news, call (800) 220-4853 to subscribe or visit www.gulfshorebusiness.com.

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