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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of changes in Buffalo, along with the entire world. One of the most visible changes we've seen in Western New York has been the fact that our international border crossings with Canada have been closed for a record 13 months.

According to a report by WKBW-TV, the closed border has cost local businesses almost $1 Billion in lost revenue since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The loss of Canadian business just in Erie County alone is somewhere between $665-855 million on an annualized basis... It could be as much as a billion dollars. This is a tremendous economic impact on our region.
-Dottie Gallagher, President and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership

With non-essential travel to and from Canada being banned, that lack of tourism and leisure travel has really impacted area businesses. I didn't realize how much of an impact that was until I went to the Walden Galleria Mall the other day for the Grand Opening of the Buffalo Kids store. That was the first time I have gone to the mall since the pandemic started and one of the first things I noticed was the lack of cars with Ontario license plates.

Considering how heavily the economy in Western New York is integrated with Southern Ontario, hopefully, things will open up as more people obtain the COVID-19 Vaccine. I know I am looking for that day.

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