NewsLocal NewsSouth Bay News


San Ysidro businesses struggle amid border restrictions

Border Fence San Ysidro
Posted at 2:47 PM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 21:04:01-04

SAN YSIDRO (KGTV) -- Local businesses are feeling a one-two punch after the border closure for non-essential travel was extended during the coronavirus pandemic.

The owner of El Rincon Restaurant in San Ysidro said the extension is devastating for business.

"I just found out a couple hours ago that they were going to do this, I had absolutely no clue," Owner Edgar Alaniz said. He was looking forward to the reopening of the border planned for June 22, now pushed back for a third time to July 21.

Alaniz said he didn't want to be mad because all of this is to protect our health and safety but it's extremely difficult for businesses to survive after being closed for three months.

Alaniz said about 75-80% of their customers come from Mexico.

Currently, the business is only seeing about 20% of those customers. "That's what happens when the border is closed for three months, people find different ways and for a restaurant like me, they find a different restaurant," he said.

He hopes when the border reopens to welcome them back.

Alaniz said they closed the restaurant March 15, and continued with take-out service. Just last week they reopened for dine-in service with protective procedures, like masks and extra cleaning, in place.

Alaniz hopes to see more of his neighbors reopening as well, saying he only knows of one other locally owned restaurant in San Ysidro reopening so far.

He is confident we will all get through this, "we move forward with strength and a bright vision, that's what it is and that's what it will always be about."

The news comes as the U.S., Canada, and Mexico agreed to extend their agreement to keep their borders closed to non-essential travel through July 21 during the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is an important decision that will keep people in both of our countries safe,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.