SANIBEL, Fla. - There's new criticism of BP from Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. She says the $5,000 check many businesses are getting for their claims of lost income isn't enough.
Still, some Southwest Florida businesses affected by the oil spill fears are preparing and hoping to get their share.
"We're living with the dread right now," said Judy Michie, of Cottages to Castles in Sanibel.
Michie and her daughter Sharon rent high-end condos along the Sanibel coast. Besides reservations, their computer system now tracks bookings cancelled because of the spill.
"We've got a system here in our computer that we can identify when a reservation is cancelled and we identify it as BP," Michie said. "You'll never get anywhere unless you're keeping track of the records, because the records are what you have to document your claim."
They're asking customers for a written reason, to help prove the loss in a claim filing with BP.
Sharon Michie read one customer's e-mail: "Yes indeed the cancellation is because of the oil spill, we're very concerned about the situation, and we see that the oil spill will have a massive impact on the whole of the Gulf of Mexico region... We were happily looking forward to our visit in November, but under these circumstances, it makes no sense for us to be afraid every day, waiting if Sanibel might also be affected."
"Cottages to Castles" is one of at least two hospitality businesses on Sanibel considering claims.
Pink Shell Resort on Fort Myers Beach has already filed a claim and now awaits a response.
But some individuals in the fishing industry don't want the potential damages limited by a BP claim check.
"I wouldn't go down the route of claiming with BP by any means," said Brian Urso of Andy's Island Seafood. "I would go a more legal route."
If Judy and Sharon Michie can fill the openings created by the oil cancellations, which are at least a month away, they say they won't file a claim. But with the uncertainty about the oil, they want to be prepared.
"We hope we get everything we're entitled to that's fair, just and equitable," Michie said.