BP Boycotts Hurt Small Business OwnersJuly 27, 2010 - 9:40 AM | by: Elizabeth Prann
“Real people are getting hurt and I think it’s important that people understand that when you boycott one of these stores you’re not boycotting BP – because BP doesn’t own them, these are not franchises,” said Jim Tudor, the President of the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores. “They have a contract to sell BP gas. They’re independent. They’re neighbors and they’re getting hurt. People need to understand that.”
Tudor is referring to people who refuse to buy gasoline from a station with a BP logo out front, and there are plenty of them across the county. A ‘Boycott BP’ Facebook page boasts more than 800,000 followers, which is part of the reason so many of these BP branded gas stations are working to distance themselves as a locally owned and operated business.
Some owners ordered signs that read, “Part of the Community” or “We are locally owned & operated. Ready to serve you. Come on in!”
BP store owner Thomas McDonald owns a gas station in Covington, Georgia. He’s been in the convenience store business for 22 years and is working to remind his community that if they drive by his store and buy gas elsewhere, it hurts his business, his employees and his family.
“It’s very frustrating but you can’t take it out on the small business man and that’s who you’re hurting: not BP, the small business man,” said BP convenience store owner Thomas McDonald. “We have noticed [a drop in sales]. If you’ve got somebody driving through, dead set on not stopping at BP, they might go on down to the next station and bypass us here.”
Other owners in the Florida Panhandle, who don’t want to be identified for legal reasons, have broken contracts with the oil giant to avoid a drop in sales. A convenience store owner in Bay County, Florida told Fox News she broke her contract because she was disgusted by the spill’s impact on the Emerald Coast and she feared a drop in sales. She started the process of breaking her contract about a week after the oil rig explosion and today she sells unbranded gasoline.