New border wall won't impact businesses in Nogales, Sonora, owners say

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Economy experts predict President Donald Trump's new proposed border wall will hurt businesses in the United States.

However, many are wondering how it would impact businesses on the Mexico side of the border and affect Americans who cross the border to shop?  

Many merchants in Nogales, Sonora believe there are some very tough times ahead.

KGUN9 spoke with Efrain Llamas, the owner of a business that has been open for 35 years.

Customers will find pottery, paper flowers, punched tin stars, copper ware, knock-off purses, among other things.

Llamas confirms business has dropped in the last couple of years. So much, that only about 10% of the owners who were there ten years ago are still there today, Llamas says.

"Things are definitely not the same on the main street," Llamas said as he organized his shop.

Llamas and other nearby business owners do not expect things to improve if and when a new border wall is built.

He also says they probably won't get worse.

In fact, he says, things would not change, "if tourists continue coming, a new border wall wouldn't affect us much, but again it's all about tourism and how many people continue coming."

Another business owner, Carlos Galaz Flores, who has been selling regional products like candies and treats for more than 20 years, argues a border wall will affect business owners only psychologically.

Thankfully, Galaz Flores argues, people are still crossing into the Mexico side of the border to shop for goods.

He and Llamas believe merchants that have been there for several years agree that there are some very tough years ahead, but that won't stop the way they do business.

"As long as people come, we will keep welcoming them with great service like we have for many years," Llamas said.

They believe businesses will survive and progress regardless of all the difficulties they face. 

Some tourists have their doubts.

They are not so sure great service, and discounted prices will be enough. Their biggest concern is security and how that will impact waiting times for those trying to cross the border back to the United States.

"Just that process is probably going to deter people from wanting to shop down here because it's so much easier to go anywhere else," Leah Newman said.

She and her boyfriend drive to from Tucson to Nogales, Sonora once or twice a month to get dental work done and to do some shopping. Both of them hope that a new border wall doesn't translate to fewer customers.


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