Mexican business owners in South Philly unite as they struggle to stay afloat

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Andres Hernandez opened Adelita in South Philadelphia four years ago.

The restaurant, with its authentic Mexican cuisine, was doing great until the pandemic hit.

Now, in the wake of the ensuing lockdowns and restrictions, Adelita is on the brink of shutting down.

"We have to keep up and run our business because we don't want to close. We opened our business (to do) good, for helping the community and also (to) help our families," said Hernandez.

So now, Hernandez has teamed up with a dozen other Mexican-owned restaurants and shops in South Philadelphia to post a GoFundMe page after their efforts to access government assistance fell much shorter than expected.

Everyone involved says they are all in the same boat, with the belief that their businesses will thrive once again, but only if they can survive the lingering COVID-related restrictions.

The crowd-funding effort has already raised more than half of its $50,000 goal after launching two weeks ago.

Hernandez admits that he wishes he didn't have to reach out for the public's help.

Still, he says even if you decide not to donate, the best thing you can do is eat and shop local.

"I see a lot of communities in the other communities, they need support. But if you can come over here and check out the Mexican restaurants and support them, it would be very helpful," said Hernandez.

All of the businesses involved have also established the "Association of Mexican Business Owners of Philadelphia" realizing that the likelihood of their survival is much higher if they support and advocate for each other.

Hernandez says their goal is quite simple: outlast the pandemic.
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