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El Paso business owner struggles after fire closes street

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA)- It's been over a month since a fire erupted at a shoe shop in Downtown El Paso.

Since then, the City of El Paso has closed down El Paso Street, where several businesses sit. Businesses tell ABC-7 they are struggling to make ends meet, some even forced to close their stores.

“We’ve survived through all the uphill battles, through the border situation and the COVID and all that. But I guess the whole construction here, the blockage has been the last straw," said Gigi Bahier, Choice Cap Worker.

Luz Seo, owner of Uno Plus El Paso, said the closing of the street has decreased the foot traffic to stores in the area. She said she has had to cut workers hours as a result.

The 25 businesses in the area taking matters into their own hands and setting up a sign to remind the public they are still open for business.

“I actually had to make some signs because the city didn’t do anything, I asked for cooperation from each of the stores and I placed two signs on each side," said Marco Rivera, worker at La Negrita.

Owners said they are afraid what will become of her business if the city does not step in to help find a solution.

“Maybe when you help us its going to be too late, so help us.”

City Spokesperson, Laura Cruz, responding to concerns saying "The demolition is been coordinated by our Capital improvement Department with the demolition contractor. There is limited access to the site and all the material must be treated as containing asbestos and must be disposed of in accordance with State and Federal regulations. The expected completion for the demolition, barring any unforeseen circumstance, is still about 2 to 3 weeks out."

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Brianna Perez

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