Businesses hurt by 2010 oil spill want BP money to stay on the coast

Businesses hurt by 2010 oil spill want BP money to stay on the coast
Holland says several brides chose to go elsewhere after the oil spill which impacted her business. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Holland says several brides chose to go elsewhere after the oil spill which impacted her business. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Carolyne Jones owned a food truck and says the oil spill took a toll on her cost of food. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Carolyne Jones owned a food truck and says the oil spill took a toll on her cost of food. (Photo source: WLOX News)

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Several coast businesses hope to see most of the BP money allocated to South Mississippi. We spoke with people who recalled how their businesses took a financial hit from the 2010 spill that lasted several months.

For House of Tux Owner Adrian Holland, January through May are the busiest times of the year for her business. She still recalls how her sales were impacted by the BP oil spill in April 2010.

"April is a fairly busy month for us. And I just remembered that the brides were very shaken by it down here. And we had a lot of cancellations on weddings and therefore we were stuck with gowns because brides didn't want to get married down here anymore," Holland recalled.

Carolyne Jones owned a food truck which sold lunch to shipyard employees. She said the spill had a domino effect on her business that even caused the price of seafood to rise. Jones wants to see the BP settlement money stay on the coast.

"We have a lot of infrastructure problems that need to be fixed here between Biloxi and Gulfport -- roadways, erosion, potholes, all this stuff that's tearing up people's cars. We need our city back the way it was pre-Katrina and oil spill," Jones explained.

"The BP oil spill was here. It wasn't all over our state. It was here in South Mississippi. It needs to stay in South Mississippi. This is where the rebuilding was, the restoration for the animals that we had. It needs to stay right here," Jones said.

Holland believes the money could help pay for more advertising to bring more tourists to the coast.

"I believe that we were impacted mostly from tourism and things and people didn't want to visit here from the oil clumps on the beach," said Holland.

It's for that reason and many others that Holland wants a good portion of the BP settlement money distributed to the coast.

Mississippi's $1.5 billion in BP settlement money is set to be paid over 17 years. Business leaders hope residents will help show support for keeping the money on the coast by attending a group gathering at the State Capitol. If you're interested in attending, the group is gathering Thursday, January 11 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the State Capitol Rotunda in Jackson. To register your support call (228) 604-0014 or email info@mscoastchamber.com

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