(Businessweek) — Last year, Mary Metoyer’s New Orleans flooring company took in just $80,000 in revenue, one-third of her annual revenue before Hurricane Katrina struck. Her customer base of landlords and homeowners had started to return, but many were then hurt financially by the BP (BP) oil spill. When the bank she went to for a $10,000 loan lost her paperwork a few months after Katrina, she says she didn’t have the heart to restart the application. Metoyer did try her luck with a nonprofit, applying for a $10,000 loan early this year. She received the money last spring, paid it off, and took out a second loan in September, for $6,000, to upgrade her 25-year-old showroom in New Orleans’ Warehouse District. “Even though these are little loans, they have been a big, big help with financing some larger jobs I’m doing,” says Metoyer, 64.
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