California border businesses fear another month of travel restrictions

U.S. & World

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Fumil Gakhrega says his perfume shop survived the recession 10 years ago and has had other rough patches along the way, but he’ll tell you nothing compares to the last five months in business.

Gakhrega told Border Report his customers from south of the border have pretty much stopped coming due to the on-going border restrictions.

“About 90 percent of my clients are from Tijuana,” he said.

Fumil Gakhrega owns Sunny Perfume a business that continues to struggle to remain open due to the on-going border restrictions that prevent shopping excursions into the U.S. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

Like other business owners along San Ysidro Boulevard, just north of the port of entry, Gakhrega’s store is barely staying afloat.

“It’s hard, really hard basically just making ends meet day to day, rent is there, mortgage is there, but there is no one coming, no one out there,” he said.

Gakhrega said he doesn’t even know how much money he’s losing.

“I haven’t checked my numbers recently because there’s nothing to check, but more than 50 percent for sure,” Gakhrega said.

This sidewalk along San Ysidro Boulevard just north of the port of the port of entry doesn’t see as many shoppers from Mexico as it did before border restrictions went into effect. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

The border restrictions went into place on March 21 and have been extended every month since. The restrictions have already been pushed well into September.

Ports of Entry like the one in San Ysidro are for the most part only allowing U.S. Citizens and legal residents to cross into the U.S. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

They were instituted as a way to limit the number of people crossing the border and reducing the chances of spreading COVID-19. Right now, only U.S. citizens and legal residents are allowed to cross the border. Although some exceptions have been made for medical and other reasons.

“How come Mexicans are not allowed to cross, how come U.S. Citizens and residents are allowed cross, but not Mexicans, covid doesn’t see nationality or your race it can happen to you or me,” Gakhrega said.

Like many other businesses, Gakhrega’s has received a loan for businesses affected by COVID-19, but he said the money was not enough.

According to him, he hopes “this ends soon.”

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