Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the Florida Congressional Delegation, sent a letter to Florida Governor Charlie Crist asking him to request that the US Small Business Administration (SBA) declare the Florida Keys as a disaster area. This would allow affected businesses to file claims for the economic losses they have incurred as a result of the Gulf oil spill.
Statement from Ros-Lehtinen:
"The economy of the Florida Keys is dependent on commercial and recreational fishermen, tourism and tourism related businesses. This oil spill has negatively affected all of these businesses and caused many cancellations in the middle of what has already been a severe economic downturn. If the oil spill reaches the Florida Keys, the potential effect on small businesses and families would be unfathomable.
For these reasons and for the countless families throughout my Congressional District who are already suffering economic loss because of the oil spill, I have asked Governor Crist to request from the SBA an emergency declaration that would allow affected businesses to file claims for loss revenue.
Also of the utmost importance is the continued cooperation of BP; however the oil company must streamline its claims process as many have yet to receive help from BP after filing claims. BP is responsible for this economic and environmental catastrophe and they must work over time to help those affected."