© 2010 Florida Realtors®
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – May 10, 2010 – Florida CFO Alex Sink met with BP Executive Keith Seilhan at the Deepwater Horizon Incident Command Center in St. Petersburg, and asked for BP’s commitment to help the state and its small businesses recover from economic losses by funding an advertising campaign to let the world know that Florida and its beaches are oil-free, open for business and as beautiful as ever.
Our businesses and our state cannot afford for our number one industry to be impacted by misinformation, Sink told BP. We must act quickly to preserve the most economically important months of the tourist season, especially for our Gulf Coast counties.
The state is already attempting to show potential visitors that the oil slick has not impacted tourist sites. Through www.VISITFLORIDA.com, vacationers can watch live Twitter feeds and read up-to-the-minute information on the status of any city or region in Florida, allowing them to see first-hand whether or not an area is currently affected. VISIT FLORIDA is working closely with DEP and other state agencies to ensure that Floridians and visitors are kept informed of any potential impacts through real-time updates.
Sink asked BP to dedicate an executive level representative to Florida, with that exec focused on the mounting costs to Florida businesses from interruptions caused by oil spill concerns. According to Sink, the Florida Consumer Services Division has already heard from Panhandle businesses facing business interruptions from the oil spill. During her meeting with Seilhan, Sink also emphasized the need to expedite the claims process for Florida’s small businesses.
As another way to offset potential losses, BP executives were asked to recruit Florida residents to do any cleanup work and to buy supplies from the state’s businesses.