Pascagoula business owner worried about oil's economic impact - - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula business owner worried about oil's economic impact

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Several South Mississippi businesses are watching the massive oil leak in the Gulf. They are worried about the spill's damaging effect on their livelihoods. 

Phillip Perry works as an upholsterer at Gulf Coast Trim and Upholstery in Pascagoula.  

"We do boat tops, boat covers, pretty much anything to do with a boat," Perry said.

Normally, May is a busy time for Perry as boaters get ready for summer. But that's not the case this year. 

"We are not doing nearly as many as we did this time last year. We could be out of a job if there is no more boat work." 

Owner Terry Mathis said the gigantic oil spill in the Gulf is causing his business of 29 years to sink fast.

"The oil spill happened and the phone just quit ringing," Mathis said. "People got scared to spend the money on a boat and they don't know if they can use it in a month."

Mathis' boat business is down 50 percent. He expects to weather this downturn, but he wonders just how bad it will get.

"People don't know what is going to happen.  BP seems like they don't know what is going to happen, nobody is telling us what to expect." 

The businessman can only pray now that BP will fully stop the leak before it covers our coastal waters. Right now he knows the more oil that gushes out, the more money he can count on losing. 

"I have five full time employees and two part-time, and they have bills they got to be paid." 

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