By: Francsico Diaz
Downtown Laredo is a special place that needs attention," said Jose Martinez, manager of a novelty shop. More parking spaces, more police surveillance, facade renovation and promotion are some of the requests that the downtown merchants feel they could help improve the situation.
"People do come to Laredo, but downtown Laredo is not receiving benefits, we rely heavily on the visitors crossing from Nuevo Laredo" said Marco Lopez, who attends an establishment of clothing.
And to show his words, only on the 1000 block of Hidalgo Street there are four commercial buildings for rent that served as shops. Something similar happened on the 400 block of Flores where three shops are closed, two more on the 1000 block of Lincoln, two on 1100 block of Iturbide, two on the 300 blaock of Flores, two on the 1100 block of Grant and one more on 1100 block of Lincoln.
Other retailors said that besides the lack of promotion that causes few visitors, building owners try to maintain high rent prices and few have lower them.
"Some pay 2000-4000 dollars a month and that's not including services and salaries of employees, it is a lot of money if you take into account that the situation is not good," said Maria Solis.
Due to the crisis, some business owners were forced to reduce the number of employees or to reduce the number of hours they work. It is noteworthy that the municipal authorities have a project to revitalize downtown but has not been implemented because there are other priorities to be addressed.
"Until they give us the attention we need we will stay the same, it is sad that we can not uplift downtown Laredo being important to the city of Laredo." said Solis.