She thought she was prepared

after hurricane sandy salty paw
  • Name: The Salty Paw
  • Location: South Street Seaport, New York

Amanda Zink tried to gird her lower Manhattan pet boutique and groom spa for the worst.

"I thought I was being prepared by hanging everything from the sprinkler system and putting out the sandbags," said Zink, who has lived in the area for more than 17 years.

But the water's force left her shop under 11 feet of water. She found supplies -- cat food, collars, bags -- as far as four blocks away. Estimated losses: $100,000.

Complicating the rebuild was the fact that all the residents and businesses in her store's building had to relocate for nine months.

In the interim, Zink opened two pop-up shops, doing about 20% of her normal business, just so she could keep her staff and clientele.

She reopened in her former space on September 28. But getting funding for the reopening was "a difficult road." A $20,000 grant from a local business group had tricky stipulations; an SBA loan came with a 4% interest rate; and a city loan and matching grant has been a frustrating back-and-forth.

"Short answer: I still have no money," she said. "Nothing has been processed yet."

But even with Zink's frustration, she still considers herself one of the lucky ones.

"I was lucky to have a business that could do a pop-up," she said. "Restaurant people have a lot more limitations."

First published October 27, 2013: 3:53 PM ET

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