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Korean businesses eying El Paso

a story in the business section of today’s l-a times says korean american businesses in the l-a garment district are considering making a mass move to el paso! abc-7’s darren hunt is live with a story you’ll see only on abc-7. darren? rick, the korean american apparel manufacturer’s association in l-a is responsible for at least 10 billion dollars in annual revenues as well as 20- thousand jobs … and an increase in minimum wage in california, coupled with rising rent and strict labor laws has them looking to move elsewhere. “i cross fingers they come here … ” downtown el paso business owner wontae kim reacted to news abc-7 spotted in the l-a times … about korean apparel manufacturers and businesses in los angeles considering a move to el paso. i heard about two months ago, two months ago, and i heard it from my friend in same fashion business in los angeles downtown.” why el paso? one of the korean business owners in l-a making the pitch for a move here points out in the l-a times story: “el paso once home to plants for denim companies including levi’s and wrangler, has abundant skilled laborers, fewer regulations, much cheaper rent and direct flights from los angeles.” an official a the korean-american apparel manufacturing association confirmed a representative from el paso’s cushman and wakefield commercial real estate office was in los angeles meeting with them when i called. she also told me the association has scheduled a visit to el paso september 15th and 16th “there’s already a heavy korean presence in el paso … mr. kim estimates that more than 100 businesses in downtown el paso, or about half of them, are owned by koreans.” “i think its going to hel actually.” won ch also owns an apparel store in downtown el paso. “i think it’s going to be goo for el paso … you’ll get more jobs and better economy.” “do you think they’re serious about coming here?” “oh they are very serious, they have several options … but el paso is first position on the list.” i spoke briefly today with the city’s director of economic development, cary westin. he would not speak on camera about this today, but did tell me he’d heard about interest from the l-a korean apparel manufacturers. expect abc-7 to be there later this month when they visit el paso. rick and estela. stormtrack weather now — areas

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