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Small business, banks look for a match at lending expo

ASHLEY SMITH, Staff Writer Nashua Telegraph
Staff photo by Don Himsel. Lenders mill about at a trade expo in the gymnasium at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester on Monday.

Staff photo by Don Himsel. Lenders mill about at a trade expo in the gymnasium at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester on Monday.


When Angeline Kopka lost her job in finance to a soldier returning from World War II, she decided to pursue a career in real estate. But the first person she turned to for advice had some harsh words.



“There’s no room for women in the real estate business,” Kopka, 93, of Nashua, said a particularly gruff agent told her. Undeterred, she went on to found Kopka Real Estate, selling her first home in 1953. 

Today, the small business Kopka created faces a new set of challenges, not the least of which is the economy. It’s harder for her clients to find financing with banks no longer looking past minor blips on a credit report, she said. 

Kopka, a state representative for Nashua’s Ward 5, and her daughter, Jan Geno, who now runs the business, were among hundreds of small-business owners who gathered Monday in Manchester to find out what financing options are still available in this depressed economy. 

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