When Mike Bongarzone, manager of popular Los Angeles coffee shop Coffee Roasters, is asked how he would handle short staffing if most of his employees were home sick with the flu at the same time, he offers a resigned smile, shrugs, and says, "The rest of us would just work harder.

"In a small business," he adds, "you just don't have the depth of staff to pick up the slack."

His first line of defense? A 16-ounce pump bottle of Purell sitting prominently next to the cash register and tip jar, for employees and patrons alike.

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