Published: Jul 09, 2010 4:58 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 08, 2010 11:47 PM EDT

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - Many people want to know more about filing a claim against BP. Business owners said just the perception of oil in Southwest Florida is hurting their bottom line.

Dozens packed a meeting Thursday night on the beach to learn more about how to file a claim, but more importantly, how to prove the slow business is a direct result of the oil spill.

As the sun sets in Southwest Florida, oil is still being pumped into the gulf. It's miles away from here, but customers at Goodtime Charters are still asking questions.

"We get a lot of people who come out to go fishing so they want to make sure the fishing is good and that their isn't any oil here."

Attorney Cal Warriner said this problem is only going to continue to grow.

"The real economic impact of this is starting to be felt by businesses that are not directly involved by having oil wash up on their shores - hotels, rentals, restaurants, restaurants that can't get seafood."

He said it's because some people think the entire state of Florida is effected.

"Europeans don't know the difference between Panama City and Tampa and West Palm Beach. They just know it's Florida, so the European business is already down."

It's something a Cape Coral woman knows first hand. Her neighbor rents homes to Germans .

"Everyone he knows has rented those houses for 15 years have cancelled from June till Christmas. Everyone. They're so afraid of the oil."

If anyone cancels reservations, have the customer send you the reason why in writing and keep it documented. Experts said it's the closest thing to proof and the best way to get reimbursed for your losses.