“I don’t know if we could’ve made it without that line of credit … It’s amazing that a huge company like American Express can have account representatives and employees that care so much about us.”
Real American Express® Business Line of Credit customer who was aware that her testimonial may be featured by American Express.
Finding solid ground: How a flooring company recovered with an American Express® Business Line of Credit
Linda Krienke can trace her affinity for flooring back nearly 50 years. “People who love floors, we’re a different breed,” she says. “Any building I walk into, the first thing I do is look at the floors and start thinking about what would work best.” No matter the material, flooring for Linda was more than a job. It was a passion, one that eventually inspired her to launch a small business in Houston.
She and her business partner started Linron Company in late 1993. Krienke’s love for the industry and her commitment to customers have been driving forces in Linron’s success, and for decades she has provided flooring for retail giants. “We’re a solutions provider,” she explains. “You tell us your problem and your expectations, and we work with you on getting you the right products.”
By 2020, Krienke’s family business was extremely profitable and successful. That year, she was named one of Houston’s 50 most influential women by Houston Woman Magazine. Yet no amount of success could have shielded her from what came next. As Covid-19 spread across the country, many of her clients were forced to postpone projects or cancel them altogether, and the business suffered a significant loss of revenue. Krienke had to sell off her rental properties and dip into her retirement savings to keep the doors open.
“The pandemic nearly killed our business,” she recalls. “I had maxed out. There was nothing left for me to sell. And my employees are like family to me. I didn’t want to send them home without a paycheck or healthcare. I just could not shut the business down.”
Krienke knew she had to find a way to keep her business running. Luckily, she received an email offering her the opportunity to apply for a business line of credit.
“It was getting to the point where cashflow was almost nonexistent,” she says. But she knew that with Amex, she’d be in good hands. “I’ve been an Amex® Card Member since 2000, so I trust them,” she adds. “I reached out immediately.”
Flexible access to funds and caring customer service
The American Express® Business Line of Credit offers flexible access to funding that can help businesses manage their cash flow and cover unexpected expenses. In addition, the Business Line of Credit offers competitive term length options and no hidden fees.
Krienke was deeply impressed by the Amex rep’s genuine concern, empathy, and resolve to help get her on her feet. “This guy was nice, and he would check in every week,” she says. “It’s amazing that a huge company like American Express could care so much about us.”
Her Vice President of Operations also expressed satisfaction with the customer service. “I was really impressed because he made it personal, and he really seemed to care about our story,” she says. “It was important to him that we knew we were important to Amex.”
Capital to cover cash flow gaps
With her approved line of credit, Krienke had the funds she needed to cover operating expenses and pay suppliers. “I used it to pay bills. I used it for payroll. Wherever I needed the money,” she reports. As a result, her business has picked up in the last quarter of last year. While still recovering, Linron has more than doubled revenue since the height of the pandemic in 2020.
In the end, Krienke’s decision to turn to American Express for a Business Line of Credit proved to be a turning point for her business. With the extra capital, she was able to invest in the business, maintain her staff, and stay competitive in the flooring market.
Smiling, Krienke reflects on her work: “One of the things I like about my job is when someone comes to me with a floor problem. Getting them to a solution is great fun for me.” American Express takes pride in helping business owners like Krienke overcome their own challenges.
Year Established: 1993
Industry Type: Flooring distribution
Number of Employees: 20
Annual Revenue: $6 Million
American Express® Business Line of Credit Customer Since: 2022
American Express® Member Since: 2000