Southerland Tours Port PC Business; Talks Overregulation - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Southerland Tours Port PC Business; Talks Overregulation

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It's a busy morning at Port Panama City, as cargo crates are loaded onto the newest vessel of Linea Peninsular's fleet; each crate meaning one thing according to US Congressman Steve Southerland.

"It signifies jobs," said Southerland, overlooking the process.

The Louisiana transplant company came to Bay County following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Today, their success has folks talking about the "what if's" of a greater focus on maritime industries in our county.

"We're hoping that the Humphries family's success today is only a precursor to success in the future," said Southerland.

From the jobs they create in house, to the branch offs of transport and manufacturing of goods, Southerland said this family owned business is doing their part to bolster economic success.

Friday, the Congressman toured the company alongside the Florida Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, Bill Herrle.

Together, they sought to point out a major challenge for small businesses in today's current economy: overregulation.

"A business like this is very complicated dealing with exporting and importing. They have many people who do nothing but federal paperwork," said Herrle.

"Touring our ports is critical to my understanding to what we need to do at the committee level to continue to spur economic growth. It is about jobs. It's about making sure American's have the opportunity to see upward mobility," said Southerland, who sits on the Transportation Committee in Washington.

This company has seen success, primarily exporting American goods to Mexico; spurring potential for the future success of maritime industries, according to Southerland.

"The ship building industry and the maritime industry, I think Bay County and Panama City is becoming a place that people recognize as a place they want to invest," said Southerland.

Southerland believes Florida's geographic location gives us a unique opportunity to capitalize on shipping with new trade agreements in the works and the expansion of the Panama Canal ready to go in 2015.