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Brownsville businesses hopeful to see increase in economic activity

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Businesses along the southern border are hoping to see more economic activity when the border reopens on Nov. 8.

The owner of Historic Cameron Hotel in Brownsville, Gonzalo Aguilar, says most of his clientele are visitors from Mexico. Aguilar says he’s hoping with the border reopening, he will see more people looking to book a room. Aguilar says he saw businesses throughout downtown Brownsville that had been open for years close down because of the pandemic.

Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez says during the pandemic, Brownsville didn’t lose any sales tax revenue.

“We planned for some losses,” Mendez said. “We didn’t have them, so that really benefitted us. We’re going to see an even bigger impact now. This year has been really good when it comes to sales tax.”

Aguilar says people are starting to open back up slowly, adding that he’s even had to turn some people away who wanted a room almost two months ago.

Daniel Hong, owner of Gigante in downtown Brownsville, says about 60 to 70 percent of his shoppers are from Mexico. Although Hong says he’s excited for the border to reopen, he is not sure how it will impact his sales. Hong says his store has been affected by the supply chain issue. A vase that would normally sell for $4 now has a heftier price tag, Hong said.

The city of Brownsville will be offering free bus services on Sundays starting Nov. 7. until Dec. 28.

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