Tom York on Business: Chula Vista Retailers Suffered as Cross-Border Traffic Disappeared


Interstate 5
Little traffic on Interstate 5 north of San Ysidro. Photo by Chris Stone

Roaring back? The local consumer economy appears to be doing surprising well as California emerges from the COVID-19 imposed lockdown. Apparently, people want to break away from being house bound, and they want to get out and about.

Many retail businesses up and down the San Diego coast, for example, report they are enjoying brisk sales as strict pandemic restrictions are being eased. This is especially true of Carlsbad, according to a recent report by TV news channel NBC 7.

The owner of a small retail store in Carlsbad’s central business district told a reporter her stored was filled with customers during part of the three-day weekend. And she said sales had been good that for the past several weeks. “If they want it, they’re buying it,” the retailer said.

The parking lot at The Shoppes of Carlsbad retail mall, to name but one commercial center, was jammed with vehicles on the Sunday before the Memorial Day holiday–with stores, restaurants and the multi-screen movie theater filled with customers. And the various outlets were crowded.

Unfortunately, the joy of resurging sales is not true of every community in San Diego.  Local TV news department Fox 5 reports that 200 small businesses in San Ysidro have closed this past year due to pandemic-imposed barriers imposed at the U.S.-Mexico border by federal officials.



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