NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Everyone knows the story of Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond firm on the 105th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center, which lost more than 650 employees -- one-third of its workforce -- when American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into it Sept. 11, 2001.
Cantor Fitzgerald and CEO Howard Lutnick became the poster child for all businesses that suffered in the 9/11 attacks. Ten years later, Cantor Fitzgerald's Lutnick is sharing a new story -- one of rebirth and rebuilding.
But what of the other businesses in Manhattan's Financial District?
Some, such as Harry's Cafe & Steak, were able to not only reopen shortly after the attacks but to grow. The family-owned cafe has since expanded to 11 pastry shops and eight restaurants across the city, with two more restaurants coming soon.
Others, such as Abracadabra Digital Color, which had headquarters in the center's south tower, eventually had to shut down due to the lack of business after the terrorist attacks. But owner Greg Carafello went on to start another venture -- one he plans to expand to lower Manhattan.
Here are the stories of three small-business owners and how they've been able to come back from those dark days and thrive.
Harry's Cafe & Steak has been a staple in lower Manhattan since its opening in 1972 by Greek immigrant Harry Poulakakos. (The famed restaurant for Wall Street powerhouses closed between 2003 and 2006 for renovations.)
The entrepreneur, now 73, remembers what it was like in downtown New York in the weeks after the attacks.
"It was very difficult even to get down here. No cars were allowed down here for a couple of months," he says. "Business was hurting everywhere. We opened Harry's one week after and the funny thing was we had a lot of support. My old customers, they wanted to show support, and we had a very busy week, but for a while we suffered. Business was not that great."
Little by little the area started to see signs of life. The Poulakakos family, under the leadership of Harry's son, Peter, decided to expand.
In 2002, the family opened the first of what is now 11 pastry shops under the Financier Patisserie name.