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Businesses far from the devastation can feel storm’s impact

NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses with customers or suppliers along the Gulf Coast and in Florida are feeling the financial impact from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Sales have dropped off as people and businesses prepared for the hurricanes, and are still down as everyone assesses and deals with the devastation left by the storms.

ReelSonar is based in Seattle, thousands of miles from the damage. But Texas and Florida are usually the biggest markets for the company’s fishing devices and apps. Recreation isn’t a priority there right now — and may not be for a while.

Some companies also face higher expenses — they have to find alternative vendors, and may pay more for substitute merchandise and parts. Some business owners say they’ve lost thousands of dollars already because of the hurricanes.

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