What border closure means for Ogdensburg business

Updated: Mar. 18, 2020 at 8:25 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The United States and Canada have closed their border to all non-essential travelers.

It looks like big trucks will still be able to cross. They're vital to economies in both countries.

But you're going to see a lot fewer cars crossing. So that means fewer shoppers, diners and air passengers in places like Ogdensburg.

It also means less toll revenue for the Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority. It will be a blow to all kinds of businesses.

“I knew that we were going to be affected immediately, with closing the border to essentials only. Because like I said, our business is driven by Canadians. Probably 90 percent of our traffic is Canadians picking up parcels, shipping,” said Rhonda Roethel, Roethel Parcel Service. “The thing is you can go to any store in Ogdensburg or any restaurants and you're going to see Canadian plates. They're all over. You know we welcome them because they drive a lot of our economy here.”

“That means that we will have no Canadian citizens coming here to fly. And I believe Canadian citizens that are still in the United States that need to come back through Ogdensburg will be coming back quickly,” said Stephanie Saracco, Ogdensburg International Airport manager.

About 50 percent of the airport’s customers are Canadian. Many of those are snowbirds flying Allegiant Air back and forth to Florida.

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