Coronavirus (COVID-19) brings Cinco De Mayo celebrations to screeching halt in Southwest Detroit

Business owners try to soften financial blow

DETROIT – Businesses in Southwest Detroit usually gear up for a massive celebration on Cinco De Mayo, but the coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought any plans to a screeching halt.

Cinco De Mayo is one of their biggest business days of the year, but now they’re having to get creative to try to make up for all the lost revenue.

“I miss the people coming down Vernor," said Suzy Garza Villarreal, of Tamaleria Nuevo Leon. “It’s a different year.”

“It’s kind of sad, actually,” said Gloria Rosas Baiocco, of Xochi’s Gift Shop. “It’s our busiest time, our most festive time.”

The streets won’t be filled with people celebrating, and restaurants won’t be packed with families.

“I love seeing the traffic down Vernor, and a lot of times, it’s bumper to bumper,” Villarreal said.

Businesses are adapting and trying to soften the blow that they coronavirus has dealt to profits.

“We all work all year for this holiday, actually,” Baiocco said. “May is usually our busiest month of the year. This year is going to be sad, unfortunately.”

Like many restaurants, Tamaleria Nuevo Leon is offering curbside pickup.

Gift shops had to retool, so Xochi’s created “fiesta in a box.”

While people can’t get together on Cinco De Mayo, these business owners said the true essence of the celebration will carry on.

“Like we say in Spanish, bad times, you give a good face,” Baiocco said. “You just keep moving forward.”

“You know you’re home when you’re in southwest,” Villarreal said. “We will get through this. That I know.”

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