More Than 500 Businesses Have Relocated To El Paso In 2 Years
POSTED: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 4:21pm
UPDATED: Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 9:38am
EL PASO - While the violence in Mexico might be keeping some tourists and conventions away, it's forcing many people to relocate, bringing their businesses to El Paso.
In the 17 years that Eliceo Padilla has been in business, he's seen his fair share of shops closing. But since the violence erupted in Juarez, he now says his home is becoming a ghost town and he has no choice but to venture across the border.
"I think that we need to adapt, Juarez is declining, but here it is growing," Padilla said, speaking of the drop in business in Juarez, but the boom here.
"Because of the violence, so many people are suffering there," Padilla said. He first thought of relocating his company, Multigrafics, a year and a half ago.
"There are different rules only, but doing business is more or less the same," he said about the transition.
Right now, though, his headquarters are in Juarez, surrounded by security gates. He soon plans to make his south central El Paso location his hub.
"If you know your business, if you know your community, if you know the possibilities that you have, then there is no big issue," he said.
And he's not the only one taking the leap. Padilla is one of 525 relocating businesses that have come to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for help in the last couple of years - most of them from Mexico.
"El Paso is the place to be when it comes to opening a business," said Cindy Ramos-Davidson, the chamber's CEO. She says those entrepreneurs bring jobs and revenue.
"Those businesses have to pay what? Taxes," she said. "Those taxes are collected by what? By the city."
She and Padilla both say the focus should not be on what's wrong in Juarez, but what's right in El Paso.
"I'm really excited, this is a new baby born here," Padilla said. He had an open house for his business today. He says even with the violence across the border, he still plans on keeping his store open there for as long as possible.