Sunday’s five-hour border closure turned out to have a significant impact on South Bay businesses.
The shutdown came during Black Friday weekend, typically recognized as the busiest shopping weekend of the year.
According to Jason Wells, executive director of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, there was an estimated one-day loss of $5.3 million for the more than 700 businesses that are members of the chamber.
He said 75 percent of the businesses closed the entire day, and that included stores at the Las Americas Outlets of San Ysidro.
“It was a disaster for us. It was just a very important day lost,” said Rahil Iqbal, who with his family owns three discount clothing stores on San Ysidro Boulevard, just north of the border.
He estimates about a $20,000 to $25,000 in profit loss among his three stores.
Iqbal says 90 percent of his customers come from Tijuana and he’s concerned with what will happen in the days ahead.
“What’s going to happen ahead? Because it's just not the one-day loss. It's the whole potential season being lost because of the situation. And it doesn't look like, to us, like it's going to get better any time soon. That's the problem,” Iqbal said.
According to the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, local businesses generate an estimated $650 million annually, and more than a third of that is generated between Black Friday weekend and January 6.
“The volume of people you get crossing and buying in this whole area in general, like the outlets, or us, its' going to be a big, big, a huge setback for pretty much everybody here,” Iqbal said