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San Juan-based businesses closing today as thousands expected to march

A range of private-sector businesses — from malls to banks — will remain closed today, as thousands of Puerto Rico residents are expected to convene on one of the island’s main highways to demand the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

The massive march is expected to begin at 9 a.m. on PR-18, known as the Expreso De Diego, where the crowd could reach 1 million people, as the call on social media is rallying for.

One of the first businesses to announce their decision to remain closed is Plaza Las Américas, the shopping center closest to the march route.
“This determination was made to ensure the safety of all our visitors, employees and tenants. The mall’s operation will restart at its regular schedule on Tuesday, July 23,” the shopping center informed in a brief statement.

The parking area will also remain closed.

One of the mall’s tenants, Oriental Bank, confirmed its branch there will remain closed, but its other location in Hato Rey — including its headquarters on the corner of Muñoz Rivera and Ponce de León Avenues — will remain open to provide services “to the extent that no incident that jeopardize the safety of our employees and customers happen.”

All branches and its central offices will resume their regular schedules on Tuesday.

The San Patricio Plaza mall in Guaynabo announced the partial closure of its operations during the day.

Restaurants and cinemas will open at 1 p.m. Shops and service establishments will remain closed, “with the goal of ensuring the well-being of our guests, employees and tenants,” according to a statement from the shopping center.

Meanwhile, Universal Insurance announced that all offices and customer service centers will remain closed today.

The Casino Metro in the Sheraton Hotel at the Convention District will close at 5 a.m. Monday, and will reopen at 7 p.m.

“As a security measure for our customers and employees, we will close from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” said Ismael Vega, general manager of Metro Casino, which operates on a 24/7 schedule.  

Vega also clamored for an early solution to the crisis on the island “so it does not continue to affect the tourism industry that contributes millions of dollars to Puerto Rico’s economy,” he said.

The recently launched ALSA public bus service connecting Caguas to San Juan will also operate on its schedule today, as long as conditions allow, said Carlos López-Yeboles, the local spokesman for the company.

“If at some point we feel we can’t operate normally, we’ll suspend services. The priority is passenger safety,” he said.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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