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Businesses still eligible for BP funds

Even though it has been more than two years since a BP oil spill directly impacted the Gulf Coast, a recently announced settlement may impact local businesses.

Creshaw County Economic and Industrial Development Authority president Robyn Snellgrove sent out a letter to local business owners, making them aware of the situation.

“We were recently informed by Jackson Thornton (a certified public accounting and consulting firm) that ANY business located around most of Alabama (considered by BP as Zone D) may be eligible to file a claim for lost revenue due to the 2010 oil spill, even if they do not think their loss came from the spill,” Snellgrove said in the latter. “This includes any business, not just seafood or tourism, and it applies to every part of the state, no matter how far from the Gulf.”

Snellgrove said there are two parts to the process: gathering financial information from 2007 to 2011 and seeing if certain benchmarks are met, and testing and filing the claim with BP, which may take a considerable amount of time based on the nature of the records.

The settlement will run through April 22, 2014, but there is a quickly approaching deadline.

If a company decides to opt out of the settlement and pursue their own legal action against BP, the deadline to do so is Oct. 1, 2012.

“I want to have a meeting with anyone that’s interested,” Snellgrove said.

She said that if there is enough interest, she would see about getting a CPA from Jackson Thornton to come and speak about the process in person.

Snellgrove said business owners can contact her via e-mail at robyn@crenshawcounty.net or by phone at 335-4468 for more information.