Will $20 billion keep gulf businesses afloat?

The World

Questions remain as to how the government plans to dole out the $20 billion sitting in an escrow account, set up by BP, to businesses and individuals directly affected by the Gulf oil crisis. Will the response by Kenneth Feinberg and his agency be transparent, comprehensive, and quick enough to handle the number and size of financial claims expected to hit their office in the months and years ahead? Furthermore, how will the government’s independent operation set to be under way in the “next couple of weeks” differ from BP’s emergency claims system, already in place?

For the answer to these questions, we speak with Bert Sanders, a senior partner of Grant, Sanders & Taylor, an accounting and bookkeeping firm for rental management companies. We also talk to David Bodenhamer, one of the managing partners of vacation rental agency Young’s Sun Coast, in Gulf Shores, Alabama. David tells us that his business is already down 60 percent for the season and that without a steady stream of claims checks, he will not be able to keep his business afloat through the summer.

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