Businesses hurting after Hurricane Michael

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - According to the owner of Angry Tuna, Tim Jacobi, business has dropped since Hurricane Michael.

"Our business is down about 35 to 40 percent," he said.

His restaurant and others in Pier Park are hurting because of two big reasons.

The first one is staffing.

"I lost about 23 people, so half of my staff basically gone in 1 day," Jacobi said.

Due to the poor communication after the storm, many of his employees were messaging him to let him know they weren't coming back.

"A lot of people couldn't actually phone call in so we have a Facebook page and our website, so they were sending me messages over Facebook and the website saying, 'Hey by the way I'm in a rental place and can't come back to it. We found jobs in Pensacola,' or one of them was in Arkansas, so we lost a lot of people and they just left and did what they had to do to take care of their own families," Jacobi said.

Another reason Jacobi said businesses are struggling is because their local customers now don't have the financial means or the time to enjoy themselves by shopping or eating out.

"They don't have a lot of expendable money. They're not having happy hour. They're holding on to every penny they can until they get a check from their insurance company, which a lot of them aren't getting and FEMA is doing the best they can," he said.

He also said the visitors who usually spend money on the beach don't seem to be coming.

"There's nobody having any fun in a condo right now."

Although Jacobi lost about half of his staff, he's been able to help the community by giving out food and hiring people in need of jobs.

He said he feels for those who are struggling and supporting local businesses is an important factor of helping Bay County rebuild.