Lessons for businesses hit hard by border closures as reopening in sight

California

SAN YSIDRO, Calif. (Border Report) — Olivia Campos arrived at work with a big smile on her face, happy the essential travel restrictions are coming to an end.

Campos manages Carolin Shoes along San Ysidro Boulevard about a quarter mile from the border crossing.

Like most businesses along this gateway just north of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, it is heavily dependent on foot traffic from Tijuana.

That’s why the border restrictions, which have prohibited people from entering the U.S. for the sake of shopping and travel during the last 19 months, have really hurt profits.

Olivia Campos manages Carolin Shoes in San Ysidro, Calif. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

“I’m very happy and positive,” Campos said. “We want to recover some of those losses, we are ready to work hard, I hope that more people are crossing and we’ll have more chances to sell a little more merchandise because right now we are very slow.”

Help for Campos and others, who run or operate businesses, is on its way.

The San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, which estimates that 90% of the area’s clientele comes from south of the border, is unveiling a program for businesses to go online and sell their products over the internet.

Jason Wells is the Executive Director of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

“When things like border restrictions happen, it’s not as impactful, we will actually go into these businesses and see if their products can be sold on the internet, and if so, which platforms to use,” said Jason Wells, Executive Director of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce.

Wells pointed out his office will provide the resources and even secure grants to help business owners “move into the 21st century” and not be as dependent on shoppers from Tijuana.

Campos welcomes the idea.

Her store sells not only shoes, but hats, backpacks, jackets, blankets and many other discounted items.

“I’m not good with technology, I don’t have any idea, I don’t know how it works, but it can be good, we have to try everything,” Campos said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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