Even months after Irma, SWFL small businesses still feeling the effects


Hurricane Irma impacted SWFL more than eight months ago, but some small businesses are still feeling the effects.

“It’s going to be rough—it’s going to be real rough. I’m worried,” said Steve Markley, with Captain Steve’s Swamp Buggy Adventures.

Markley calls himself the swamp buggy man, but lately—he isn’t. He says business has been cut in half following Irma.

“I think I’ve done better the first year I was open,” he said.

Everglades City and surrounding area businesses continue to fall behind.

Markley says all he’s got on his books is one tour four days from now.

Lynn McMillan with Smallwood Store and Boat Tours is also feeling the effects.

“Slow—very slow,” she says of business. “We’ve been here for a few generations so we’ve pretty much seen several hurricanes in the past, but this one has probably been one of the worst.”

Heading into the notoriously slow summer season, it could force stores to stay open for fewer hours or even close up shop altogether.

Business owners also say that when visitors heard the Everglades National Park would close for a period of time to repair hurricane damage, it took away some of their customers.

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