Mexican businesses cross border, create jobs

Mexican businesses cross border, create jobs

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Estimates say there are 8,800 jobs in Arizona created by 244 Mexican companies doing business here.

These are companies which originated and operate in Mexico, but have opened offices, plants or franchises in the United States.

And if recent trends are any indication, the numbers will see a surge in the near future.

Suspiros Cakes on South 12th Avenue is a perfect example of what's happening in Tucson.

The company has hundreds of stores in Mexico but expanded to Nogales and Tucson in February.

Now it has four locations in Tucson, is planning a fifth and has nearly 30 employees, most bilingual and most importantly on the south side.

ProAutomation expanded from its corporate offices in Hermosillo to Tucson to give it a base for worldwide business. It employs 40 well-paid engineers.

More will be coming in the near future.

It can take a year and a half from the time a Mexican company decides to move to the US until it opens its doors.

The interest in Tucson since last year's election has grown.

"We get lots of phone calls, emails," said Teresa Bravo, who recruits Mexican companies for Pima County. "We get a lot more contacts coming this way."

The reasons for companies moving north of the border vary, but they can include the devaluation of the Mexican peso, the delays at the border when shipping products or the uncertainty emanating from Washington these days.

Bravo says the talk of tariffs, border walls and immigration make her job harder.

But she said, "We'll continue to welcome any company from Mexico that wants to do business here."

Mexican trade is high on the county's list published in its Economic Development Plan.

A full chapter is dedicated to enhancing the county's relationship with Mexico and its trading partners.

In part because Tucson and Pima County depend on Mexican shoppers during the holiday season, but for different reasons as well.

Tucson wants the sales tax and Pima County is seeking other benefits.

"It's also jobs," Bravo said. "If people are not coming here to shop or whatever, that requires them to spend money here, it impacts the jobs for us too."

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