Business Owners Seek Federal Government Help to Drive Border Business

Published: Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 8:00pm
Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 8:01pm

The U.S’s top diplomat in northern Sonora is Virginia Staab, the consul-general in Nogales, Sonora. She spoke at the summit on a touchy subject: the constant drumbeat of travel advisories issued by the U.S. government about visiting Mexico.

Push back on those narratives," she warned the crowd during an economic development meeting. "Because I’ll tell you, the fastest way to change the Department of State is the domestic population. That says, 'no, no, no. Penasco’s safe, This is safe. We need more positive information out there.'"

Colin Caparros is CFO of A Closer Look Tours.

"We’re a group tour operator throughout Mexico. Primarily Sonora, Chihuahua, it’s all culturally tours, it’s not the beaches and parties and spring breaks. It’s showing people the other side of Mexico that they don’t necessarily think of when they think of Mexico for a vacation," he said.

Those travel advisories clouding massive swaths of Mexico have hurt his family’s business. And most of the time, the State Department has not been responsive.

"You’re directed to a congressman, whomever it may be. You don’t get a response. So to have someone at that level willing to come talk about it, speak educatedly about it was pretty nice," Caparros said.

He’s not the only one who welcomed the heavy federal and local government presence at the summit.

The border town of Douglas, Arizona, is in the process of planning a new shipping port. City Manager Jim Russell introduced the plan.

Everybody is in one place at one time here and we’re all on the same page and we just want to make sure that the one voice is speaking the same language," he said.

sArizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich will be at the summit on Friday, to be updated on infrastructure improvements at the ports of entry.

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