Some Nogales businesses doubt, others worry border will shut down

Some Nogales businesses doubt, others worry border will shut down
(Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - David Moore has experienced all sorts of ups and downs on Morley Avenue since opening the doors of David’s Western Wear in 1980.

The last two years, including recent developments, have him feeling his lowest yet.

“By far the worst," said Moore. "I mean, we’ve never had threats of closing the border.”

He figures most of his customers cross from Mexico. Orders around the holidays last year were down and Moore blames long wait times at the ports of entry for continued, stagnant sales.

“Even the walkers aren’t going to stay in there for three hours in the sun to cross," he said. "And in a car, a lot of these folks down there, their cars will overheat by the time the get across.”

Moore doesn’t believe the border will actually close, but he worries wait times will increase.

When contacted for comment about the president’s threat to shut down the border, several business owners in Nogales shared Moore’s skepticism. They’re not preparing to alter any operations at their shops.

Guillermo Valencia, Chairman of the Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority, said his phone’s been buzzing since the news broke Friday.

“Even the threat of closing the border, I think, is already hurting us," he said Monday. "A lot of these people might decide to stay home and not travel.”

Valencia said there are too many unknowns surrounding the situation. As small business owners and large-scale distributors check with him for updates, the chairman said he’s unable to share many concrete details. He’s certain, however, the effect would be “tremendous”.

“We do take it (the threat) very serious and we do try to prepare as much as we can for it, but I don’t know, in this particular situation, what we can do to prepare,” said Valencia.

He’s contacted Representatives and Senators, but Valencia said he’s not heard back from any. The chairman said no one has reached out to the port authority for insight into how this would effect local and state businesses.

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