As residents of the Gulf Coast somberly mark the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a study from researchers at Louisiana State University and Tulane University found that most small and midsized business in the affected areas -- particularly in New Orleans -- continue to struggle.The report noted that while the number of businesses that have re-opened since December has risen roughly 12 percent, the same percentage have disconnected their phones -- an accurate barometer that they have shuttered.
Meanwhile, of the 1,400 small businesses polled since June, more than half indicated that their recovery efforts showed little or no progress.
Survey participants said that factors affecting them included
a lack of utilities and communications, property damage, lengthy insurance assessments, and a severe drop in customer counts.
Some have estimated that roughly 125,000 SMBs were disrupted as a result of Katrina.
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