Texas economy

Border leaders ‘cautiously optimistic’ about reopening Texas economy

Traders and the public must continue to take common sense measures to avoid a COVID-19 outbreak, business groups say

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The border business community reacted with cautious optimism to Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas’ economy by May 1.

“The Governor’s order is a reasoned and well-balanced decision that helps protect precious human life while working to preserve businesses, get people back to work, and stimulate the local economy and the Texas economy,” said John Barela, CEO of the Borderplex. Alliance in El Paso.

Retailers, restaurants and movie theaters can reopen May 1, Governor Abbott announces

And while he and other business leaders are hopeful that many border families will be back to work soon, they are urging traders and the public to continue to observe common sense precautions to avoid a spike in cases of COVID-19 which led to the closure of non-essential businesses and the issuance of stay-at-home orders.

“It is very important that we continue to wear masks as much as possible when we are in public, that we continue to socially distance from others who are shopping and that businesses also practice the same level of precaution,” Barela said. .

The crisis has changed the perspective of business owners so profoundly that many may not open right away.

“Once the word gets out and people know what will be allowed and what won’t, I suspect a large majority of businesses will start to open, especially if they see that’s what what their neighbors are doing,” said George Salom, President. of the Central Business Association. “They can open up and test the waters for public response. Does it make sense to open a store and start paying overhead if the sales aren’t there? I don’t think it’s going to be a flurry of openings; I think it will happen little by little. »

The downtown El Paso business leader said the economy must reopen as long as merchants and the public follow healthy and safe procedures.

He urged local authorities to ensure businesses that decide to open do so in a safe manner.

“We don’t want to have a bad relapse or another round of shutdowns or more people getting infected, sick or dying,” Salom said. “As an owner and a member of the business community, I am grateful that (the governor) thinks we are at this point. As a human being and a father, I worry about the safety of my family. These must go hand in hand if we are to be successful in the long term.

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