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Downtown El Paso stores ready for return of non-essential border travelers

EL PASO, Texas -- On the eve of Mexico border restrictions being lifted for non-essential travelers, many merchants in downtown El Paso were preparing for the anticipated uptick in business.

Dozens of business owners and employees were seen outside of their stores Sunday night readying for the influx of customers expected on Monday.

Business owners told ABC-7 they had been looking forward to this day for a long time and now it has arrived they want to be equipped to handle it. 

Joe Hernandez, owner of La Quinta store in downtown El Paso told ABC-7 that his business was greatly impacted because of the border restrictions that were in place. 

He said that his business went down 78%, adding that most of his customers are from Juarez.

Hernandez said that as a result of the reopening, he has hired extra staff and will be extending business hours.

Another business owner, Carlos Kim, said that he hasn’t seen many of his customers from Mexico in over 19 months, but added they have already reached out to him to tell him that they will be shopping this week.

Kim said that his store has been open for 30 years and he knows many of his Mexican customers by name. However, Kim told ABC-7 that when the pandemic hit, he no longer saw many of them. 

Kim said his a family-run business and the whole family has been preparing for the big day, adding that his mother is perhaps the most excited of all to see their store full of people again.

Many businesses near the Paso del Norte International Bridge say they are hopeful abotu Modnau.

The owner of Krystal Jeans, Chris Hernandez, said that his store has been stocking up on inventory for the past few weeks in anticipation of the influx of customers that are expected.

Rosemary Montanez

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