Business was just beginning to pick up for Rock Enterprises Construction when the oil spill stopped it cold. Its two main projects were postponed, then canceled, as developers decided that long-term concerns about the Gulf's welfare made them undesirable, says owner Damion Jeanpiere. He estimates that he lost $3 million to $4 million dollars in 2010. "It put us back almost 10 years, to the start of the business," says Jeanpiere, 40. His business got a boost via a loan from nonprofit microlender Accion Texas-Louisiana, but still had to lay off 17 of 20 employees. His biggest concern now is that contractors from outside the region will be drawn to cut-price properties.