Non-essential travel continues to impact businesses as Holy Week approaches
HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) – Holy Week is now underway, with Easter coming this weekend. Here in the Rio Grande Valley, Holy Week is also an economic boost, as people come from Mexico to shop. However, restrictions on non-essential travel are still in place.
Sergio Contreras is the President and CEO of RGV Partnership.
“Keep shopping locally and remember the small business owners who have been with us over the years and now is the time for us to continue shopping with them,” he said.
He referred to a new study on the economic impact of travel restrictions along the US-Mexico border.
“…[the study] was between March and November 2020 and that represented a significant loss of income for our community, ”he said.
Stores saw significantly less foot traffic, shedding millions during the best shopping times.
“The impact of Mexican buyers is still being felt. The study found that nearly $ 4.2 billion would be affected. Two billion of that is retail sales. So there is a significant impact on the lack of buyers here, ”he said.
There is a silver lining, as federal grants and loans help keep some businesses alive.
“There are protocols we can follow and measures in place that can prevent us from contracting COVID. Many of us get vaccinated. County officials are doing an amazing job, ”he said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the pandemic has had a massive impact on the job market. The long-term effects are not yet clear.