Gas station creates sign to inform people it is not associated with BP

CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - There have been some grassroots efforts around the country to boycott BP products. Those efforts are hitting the small gas station owners the hardest. One garage owner in Central finds himself caught in the crosshairs, even though he has not pumped a drop of BP in years.

Randy Kirkendall has been repairing engines and fixing flats on the corner of Sullivan and Hooper for 23 years. He said he is actually a Firestone dealer, but also sells gas.

"I know a lot of people are kind of mad about BP," said Mickey Martin, a customer. "I am too."

Back in 2008, BP pulled all of its retail stores out of Louisiana. Kirkendall owned one of those stores.

"They took the sign down," Kirkendall recalled. "They didn't take the green price sign, so people still think I'm BP."

For the past couple of months, Kirkendall has fielded lots of questions about how business has been since he carries the BP sign.

"I've had a few people come in that said they had actually stopped coming because they thought we were BP. It's their way of taking a little action against BP. They're just not going to support them at all," he explained.

Instead of watching his gas business dry up, Kirkendall made a sign of his own. It lets his customers and everyone else know exactly what he thinks about BP.

"We're not selling BP fuel. I didn't want to be associated with them," he said.

One customer said it might help his business because he knows people who are not buying because of BP.

"Most of the money comes from the shop, but I still need the gas business," added Kirkendall.

Thanks to his sign, he is slowly getting his customers back in the garage and at the pump.

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