Businesses along the southern border have been severely impacted by the non-essential travel restrictions, scheduled to end on Nov. 8. This has caused about 276 San Ysidro businesses to shut down, according to the San Ysidro chamber of commerce.
“San Ysidro is the community in San Diego hardest hit because these border restrictions and border communities are the hardest hit in the country due to these border restrictions,” said Jason Wells, executive director of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce.
The hardships are impacting the owner of Tacos La Frontera, a once-bustling taco shop along San Ysidro Boulevard.
The move to shut down was forced by the pandemic and the impact of the border restrictions. The 74-year-old business owner lovingly known as "Doña Hilda" worked hard through the pandemic trying to keep the restaurant just steps away from Tijuana up and running.
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“It’s sad it was a family-owned restaurant, the mother, the matriarch of the family was there every day and we saw a few months ago they reduced days during the week to stay around,” said Wells. “It finally got to the point that they just were without customers so they couldn’t have a business.”
The streets of San Ysidro Boulevard don’t look the same as they did prior to the border closure of non-essential travelers.
Olivia Campos owns Carolin shoes in San Ysidro where she’s been barely holding on citing her reason for surviving is working seven days a week, 10 hours a day.
According to the chamber of commerce, 95% of San Ysidro small businesses customers come from Mexico with tourist visas and about 65% of those customers are those who visit the Las Americas Premium Outlets.
“For me, business is like family and I always try to take care of business like family and I think that’s what’s working for me,” said Campos.
Travelers who do cross through the port of entries are required to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.