Ralph Pokorny has seen his share of economic downturns in his 64 years. A recession in the early 1990s led him away from other business ventures and into the damage restoration business. In 1995, Pokorny opened Restoration Xperts, Inc.

The company handles emergency restoration work after natural disasters, as well as mold remediation and structural repairs. Restoration Xperts has 10 employees in its Deerfield Beach office, and uses contract laborers as needed.

Over the years, Pokorny, a general contractor, has seen the business peak and ebb. The company reached $4 million in sales before the 2008 downturn, then fell dramatically. Revenue plunged, and Pokorny cut marketing efforts and his salary. He and his second-in-command parted ways, and debt mounted.

“It was a growth industry in a growth market, and now it’s a shrinking industry in a shrinking market,” Pokorny said.

But Pokorny sees hope on the horizon: 2014 is shaping up to be a good year, with $1.7 million in sales and growing momentum. Over the past year, he replaced key staff members and implemented a new computer system he hopes will improve efficiency.

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