About the business:
Larry Closs enjoyed working in advertising, but when he realized that the only way to make more money was to work longer hours, he began to seek out alternatives. A friend took him to a home improvement conference where he saw tub liners -- sheets of plastic or other material that protect bathtubs -- for the first time. He decided they would make a great investment.
In late 2002, he opened his first warehouse in the industrial section of Broadmoor in New Orleans, but in 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck. The warehouse was flooded with 7.5 feet of water and his entire stock was destroyed. With the help of a few tax breaks, Closs built his new warehouse just 50 yards from the old location. NewBath still sells and installs bathtub liners but also supplies custom showers, walk-in tubs, and jacuzzi tubs, among other items.
--By Eno Alfred and Mary Kay Leonard
The companies on this year's Inner City 100 have managed to build fast-growing businesses in economically depressed cities. Here's how they are doing it. More
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