After the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, business quickly fellnearly 30 percent to 50 percent said Joseph Costanzo, owner ofWharf Express in Tallahassee. The negative public perception about seafood harvested from theGulf of Mexico, particularly at businesses located near the Gulf ofMexico, lasted for months, said Costanzo. During that time, staff had to be let go, but claims for federalassistance through a fund set up by BP were repeatedly denied. I think we proved that we should have gotten some of it, Costanzo said. Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
A lot of the money went to people it shouldn thave gone to. Costanzo said his next hope for relief is through the Restore Act,but it may depend upon which version Congress approves — or evenif Congress can advance the act next month. On Tuesday, government and business leaders from the five impactedstates further cast their lobbying efforts in support of theversion of the Restore Act that would direct 80 percent of BP santicipated $5 billion to $20 billion fine for negligence toFlorida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Robert Skrob of the Florida Association of Destination MarketingOrganizations said tourism dropped 30 percent the year after thedisaster in northwest Florida. What lasts longer is the negative perceptions that folks may haveby watching television without knowing what the impacts may be, Skrob said. Soul Earbuds Manufacturer
Florida is open for business and it s asbeautiful as ever. Advocates of the act in Congress, such as Sen. Richard Shelby,R-Ala., have said the money would give communities that have had tohelp themselves repair and revive fishing and tourism industries,along with their local economies, achieve a fuller recovery. However, representatives, such as Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., whochairs the House Natural Resources Committee, have expressedconcerns about directing the money away from the general U.S.Treasury, which would benefit the entire nation, into atransportation bill where the bulk of the money focuses on fivestates. Sennheiser In Ear Headphone Manufacturer
Bill Williams, Gulf county commissioner, Florida Association ofCounties, noted that there have been five organized trips toWashington, D.C., to testify and lobby on behalf of the RestoreAct. Our congressional bodies have been really good, but they have toget that moved through, Williams said. A media conference was held Tuesday outside the Wharf Express,while letters were simultaneously sent from 118 businessdevelopment, tourism and government officials from the five statespleading that the money go to communities where the damage fromthe spill was done. Destin Mayor Sarah “Sam” Seevers said the money will help furtherrestore confidence in the seafood and tourism industries, notingthat when the federal waters were closed after the April 2010 oilspill, families that relied upon commercial fishing weredevastated.
When you look into the eyes of those people who were impacted, Seevers said, and they didn t know where their next dollar wasgoing to come from, it was a very, very difficult thing as a mayorto try to tell them that everything was going to be OK, when youdid not know yourself what was going on. The letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Utah,House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Republican Leader MitchMcConnell, R-Ky., and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi,D-Calif. Reach Jim Turner at or at (772) 215-9889.