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San Ysidro Border Closures Analyzed

March 10, 2017

By Ana Gomez Salcido

The South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC) launched a survey to quantify the economic impact of the border closures due to protests at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

The entry to Mexico through the San Ysidro Port of Entry has been closed for periods of several hours during a series of protests held almost every Sunday of this year at El Chaparral facilities on the Mexican side. The protests are against the rise of the price of gasoline in Mexico, which has increased up to 20 percent this year.

During the border closures, Caltrans has directed the traffic going south to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, where the crossing is open to Mexico.
“I think people don’t understand that the protests at the border may have an economic impact for some of the business on the surrounding communities,” said Cindy Gompper-Graves, president and CEO of South County EDC. “We are trying to determine if there is a positive or negative economic impact on the business close to the border on both sides.”

The survey started a month ago, and it’s projected to continue throughout March. Residents and business owners can participate. Members of South County EDC have visited local businesses to do the survey, and the survey can also be done through their website, http://www.southcountyedc.com/. The survey takes approximately three minutes to complete. So far, over 300 people have participated.
Gompper-Graves said they don’t have any results yet, but have seen a mix of responses. Some responses are positive while other answers are negative.

“Some businessmen have said the closures are positive because Tijuana visitors stay longer in San Diego, and go to have dinner while they wait for the border to open up,” Gompper-Graves said. “We have also seen responses about a negative economic impact.”
The final results of the economic impact of the border closures caused by protests will be available for the public on the first week of April.

“At this moment, is inappropriate for us to say that there has to be a change on the protests. We first need to know if there is a negative impact on the economy of the surrounding businesses,” Gompper-Graves added. “We are not saying the protests are wrong. We just want the people to understand that there are other ways to send a message, if the protests at the border are making a negative impact.”
This is not the first survey done by the SCEDC on the Tijuana-San Diego region. The SCEDC has done several surveys focused on the cross border issues.

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