Business quickly dried up after the law against illegal immigrants. Last week, on what would usually be a busy Thursday afternoon, Ms. Guedes ate a salad and gave a friend a manicure, while the five black stylist chairs sat empty.
“Now I only have myself,” said Ms. Guedes, 41, speaking a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese. “They all left. I also want to leave but it’s not possible because no one wants to buy my business.”
Numerous storefronts on Scott Street are boarded up or are empty, with For Sale by Owner signs in the windows. Business is down by half at Luis Ordonez’s River Dance Music Store, which sells Western Union wire transfers, cellphones and perfume. Next door, his restaurant, the Scott Street Family Cafe, which has a multiethnic menu in English, Spanish and Portuguese, was empty at lunchtime.
“I came here looking for an opportunity to open a business and I found it, and the people also needed the service,” said Mr. Ordonez, who is from Ecuador. “It was crowded and everybody was trying to do their best to support their families.”
Within a year or so, we’ll probably be saying “Hazleton” and “Lewistown” in the same breath.
Andy in Harrisburg