Mary M. established Mary’s Floor World in 1985 after working for a flooring company for several years. Her business did very well due to her expertise in flooring and her business-savvy nature. However, Hurricane Katrina devastated the office that she had just renovated and diminished her clientele. It has been a long road to recovery since the damaging disaster. After finally building her business to what it once was, the oil spill has affected Mary’s Floor World as well. People are not investing in their homes, corporations are hiring other large companies to renovate commercially instead of hiring small businesses, and many locals are without jobs. Small businesses in her city are struggling but with the new mayor and police chief’s dedication to recovery, Mary is incredibly hopeful that New Orleans will return to the city it once was.
Mary says, “Since Katrina and the recent oil spill, everything has been chaos.” She took out her first loan earlier this year with ACCION Texas-Louisiana to finance a major job. “Normally, I would have never needed to go to anyone to finance a job, but I need funds and the bank rejected my loan application.” She paid back the loan within 30 days after the job was completed. This large contract was crucial to her success because with the profit she made from that job, she has been able to finance smaller contracts. With this recent loan, she will finally have the means to do the necessary repairs and renovations to her office that will communicate to the public her business’s full recovery from the hurricane and the oil spill.
Mary is hopeful that the city of New Orleans will get back on its feet again and that the local businesses will thrive. Her advice to small business owners is, “If you really want your business to succeed, you have to hang in there no matter how bad it is. Sometimes, it gets pretty tough. You just cannot give up.”
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.