Brownsville Business Owners Experiencing Less Commerce
BROWNSVILLE – Some business owners in downtown Brownsville are looking for reasons why their sales are dropping.
Naida Garza works at a candy store in downtown Brownsville. She said business is plummeting. She said people don’t want to spend their money on birthday parties in case they need it if they’re faced with deportation. Other people are blaming the peso devaluation.
Garza said sales dropped after the start of the year.
“If the situation continues like this, I suppose we’re going to close the business,” she said.
Garza believes it’s a direct impact from President Trump’s executive orders on immigration.
People who don’t have the proper documentation, she said, are afraid to leave their homes and aren’t spending money locally.
“They don’t want to go out or they prefer to save their money in case there’s an emergency. If they get deported from the country they’ll need that money. They prefer to save it instead of spending it, and our sales have really gone down. It’s affected us a lot,” she said.
Things have gone from about two to three party bookings each weekend to just five party bookings in all of January. She’s hopeful business will pick back up.
“When it comes to the issue of security, the trust of the people to be out freely, comfortable shopping, simply going grocery shopping, or like I said to pick up the kids, no, the security is not going to be the same,” Garza said.
Daniel Hong’s store is located on Elizabeth Street in Brownsville. His business has drastically slowed down. He attributes it to the devaluation of the peso; he doesn’t believe it’s because of any executive action.
“Most of my customers are coming in here legally. They are crossing in and out of the border every day. So I mean I just don’t see them being scared of being picked up when they have every right to be here,” he said.
Hong said people in the country illegally often go to his store looking for a job. He’s had the same workers for years and isn’t looking to hire new ones.