Oil or no oil, rest of summer will do little to save Ala., Fla. beach business

Business owners who rely on tourism on the Alabama and Florida Panhandle coasts say the summer season is shot, no matter what happens between now and Labor Day.

Unlike Louisiana, which has fishing, and Mississippi, which has gambling, resort towns on this stretch of sugar-white sand rely largely on one industry: tourism.

Even now, with the beaches relatively clean and the water clear, business is a bust as many tourists stay away, having heard about soiled beaches or fearing the unknown.

In Perdido Key, Fla., souvenir shop owner Wayne Cavalier says "without BP, we're done."

BP spokeswoman Pat Wright says the company has begun speeding up the claims process for business owners along the coast and has started easing documentation requirements.