Despite Oil Spill Disaster, Local Advocates Inspire Emerald Coast With Hope
Without the proper safety equipment or special training, long-time Pensacola resident Theresa
Chmiel knows she won't be able to take part in the clean up effort following the Deep Horizon oil
spill. Instead, she launched a campaign to unite local residents in a fight for the economic
stability of their area. Joined by others along the Emerald Coast and across the country, Chmiel
reminds her community of their historic resolve and perseverance - even in the worst of times.
Pensacola, FL (PRWEB) June 15, 2010 -- As President Obama visits the Emerald Coast this week, long-time
residents Theresa Chmiel of Pensacola and Michael Mendelssohn of Fort Walton Beach spend their time meeting
with local business owners as they brace for the anticipated environmental and economic impact from the Deep
Horizon oil spill. The main topic of conversation is how they will keep their local economy strong enough to
withstand the long-term challenges.
"Before we're even scraping the first tar off our flip flops, we need to be prepared," says Chmiel, an ex-nonprofit
executive. "We have to stay ahead of the fear and uncertainty that is already creeping under our community's skin
and remember everything we have been able to overcome in the past. There may not be a lot that I can do to keep
the oil off our shores," she adds, "but, keeping our economy stable can start with me." Her message is simple -
RelyLocal began launching nationwide in January as a calculated response to the economic downturn across the
country. The idea is simple - empower like-minded local business owners to stabilize the local economy while
re-educating residents on the important role that local business has in the overall health of the community.
“The timing couldn’t be better,” says Chmiel, “Now more than ever, locally owned businesses need our support.
We haven’t seen the oil here yet, but our beaches are already relatively emp