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Downtown El Paso businesses struggle to survive with border restrictions lengthened

EL PASO, Texas -- It's almost been two months since border crossing was restricted to essential travel only. Now that restrictions have been extended one more month, some businesses downtown may not make it to the summer.

J.K Tennis in downtown El Paso has been open for 28 years. Pedro Padilla has been an employee since it opened.

He didn't know restrictions were extended and was shocked when he was told.

"Es mucho tiempo," another month is too long, Padilla said.

Padilla told ABC-7 that the majority of his customers are from Ciduad Juarez and business has been slower than it was after 9/11 when the border was also shut down.

Padilla said he will only be able to pay the basics, such as rent and utilities, for the next month.

Joe Gudenrath of the Downtown Management District says 50 percent of the businesses downtown are still closed and the new announcement will only have a further impact financially.

"There is no doubt that this has been extremely painful, especially for those businesses that rely on that Mexican shopper coming over for goods and services and going another month will just add to that burden," said Gudenrath.

While it may be too late for some businesses, Gudenrath added the community can still help the businesses that are still open.

"I would just encourage the El Paso community to support local businesses, recognize the ones that are still open in the downtown and if they have goods that they need to buy, reconsider shopping downtown in the mean time for those goods."

Border / Coronavirus Video / El Paso / News / Video

Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

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