As the Gulf coast continues to cope with the environmental cleanup from Deepwater Horizon oil-rig explosion and spill, many local businesses are feeling the effects of the disaster. Coupled with a sluggish economy and real estate market, many businesses are looking for any assistance to keep their doors open as decreased travel and other regional impacts are forcing businesses to seek assistance, including requesting assistance from BP’s disaster relief fund. Some local commercial real estate and senior housing developers are looking into applying for assistance if their land or facility is located a few miles from the coast line. Developers are proposing to make claims and file lawsuits stating that their land, current projects in process, and proposed projects have suffered declines in value based upon the damage done to the coast and the local economy.
Some senior living operators are noting higher prices for food and a drop in travel to visit family living in facilities while other operators have seen complaints for serving fish from the Gulf their dining operations. Even though extensive testing is being conducted on all fish before being made available for sale, many consumers still have doubts about the safety of consuming fish from the Gulf.
“We are planning on filing some kind of claim,” said an anonymous manager at an assisted living facility located in the Florida Panhandle. “We don’t see any direct impact but the indirect impact is evident in some of the local products and services we need. Some vendors have raised their prices or have gone out of business. Our challenge is quantifying the dollar amount of the indirect impact. While it may not be a huge amount of money, we are working to make ends meet as costs continue to increase and some assistance is better than none. It can’t hurt to try.”