Published: Jun 18, 2010 3:53 AM EDT
Updated: Jun 18, 2010 1:12 AM EDT

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - BP's pledge of $20 billion dollars to help with the disaster has some people trying to cash in. But will they be able to? A group of attorneys is helping local businesses with this painstaking process.

"I work really very, very hard at what i do," Captain Rob Modys says of his business, SoulMate Charters.

Modys has been growing the Fort Myers Beach based company for over the last decade. It's what he dreamed of doing. "I really love what i do."

Now, like so many others who rely on tourism and the Gulf, his livelihood is at stake.

He and a number of other charter boat operators came to the workshop to learn more about the oil spill and what to do next to recoup any money lost.

"This really hit me watching that, watching the graphics going. Damn, this is really bad," Modys says of the presentation.

Although the charter boat captain did learn a lot about the claims process, he and others tell me they are still left with a huge question regarding how to document lost business.

"I can't really call it a cancellation because he didn't book, but he was going to book."

One of Modys' regulars emailed him asking about dates for three charters in August, but then the emails stopped.

"He then emailed one just a couple days ago, 'look I'm really sorry and I apologize, but we don't know what's going on with the oil thing so we're not going to book it this time'. In other words he's not making the trip," Modys explains.

Business owners want to know how you document losses when the phone just stops ringing.

"I wonder how many people are like that, that are my clients and new customers, who look at the situation and say 'gee i don't know, I'm going to wait.'"

What these business owners will have to do is compare this year's revenue to previous years. However, they say that won't be accurate either; the last few years of charter fishing have been rough due to the economy, algae and even hurricanes.