TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The pandemic is hitting businesses hard and even though they’ve reopened, some of them are struggling. Some of it has to do with online shopping, but something else is missing. Our winter migration of snowbirds has not seen the same numbers as previous years. They just aren’t flocking to the valley like they normally do.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce told Arizona’s Family that Canadian visitors spend more than a billion dollars in Arizona every year. This year, Canadians are being told not to come or restrict their travel. That’s on top of a rise of online shopping.
Now, local businesses are asking for your to make up for the shortfall.
“Businesses in Arizona relies on tourist money, snowbird dollars 100%,” said W Rieth, owner of Not Your Typical Deli. Chef W said the deli has seen half the business that they saw last year. “It’s awful,” said Rieth.
Garrick Taylor with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce said Canadian visitors spend $1.4 billion dollars annually in Arizona. This year, visitation is restricted.
Canada has sealed the border with the US for travel by car, Canadians can still fly here. The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has urged Canadians not to travel here, he said the COVID-19 cases are out of control.
Canadian public health officials are warning residents to stay home as much as possible, saying the next few weeks will be critical to the country’s efforts to contain Covid-19.
“Could not only hurt tourism but Arizona’s economy at large,” said Taylor.
Changing Hands Bookstore also relies on the Canadian dollars but they told Arizona’s Family more people are using Amazon during this pandemic then coming to their stores.
In the last 6 months, Amazon’s stock rose nearly $800 dollars a share. According to Adobe Analytics, there was a 43% increase in online shopping in September compared to last year. “We want to be here but we need their help,” said Changing Hands Co-Owner Gayle Shanks.
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