Monday, November 14, 2011

Milwaukee's Popular E&J Record Store To Close After 17 Years

Photo: HNG

E&J owners made difficult decision to close local community Hispanic music store due to slow sales contributed by a stagnant economy in Wisconsin.

By H. Nelson Goodson
November 14, 2011

Milwaukee - On Monday, Eduardo and Leslie Velez confirmed, that the popular South side Hispanic music store will finally close after 17 years of business. "The E&J Record music store will close on December 31," Eduardo said.
Eduardo elaborated that recent slow sales, stagnant economy in the state and the threat of passing a copycat Arizona SB 1070 law in Wisconsin pushed hard working decent loyal customers to leave the state. A majority of business sales at E&J Record, 1242 S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive was generated by Mexican music CD's, movies, videos, including guitars and other instruments used by local groups. About 80% of the customer base were Mexican nationals, but since the adoption of the Arizona state immigration enforcement bill SB 1070 and Wisconsin legislators proposing a similar copycat bill led to gradual slower and fewer sales.   
Eduardo says, a large liquidation sale will begin a day after Thanksgiving Day on Black Friday and discounts of 20% to 30% will follow. He said, "I love the business and it was a hard decision to make. But, I had to make the right decision and choose what's best for my family." Eduardo strongly believes that proposed anti-immigrant bills contributed to the economic revenue loss in the city and state.
Wisconsin legislators, have propose three anti-immigrant bills in the state, which forced and actually pushed undocumented immigrants to leave Milwaukee and the state. The repeal of in-state tuition undocumented immigrants in the state by Republicans in the legislature and Governor Scott Walker (R) has also contributed to keeping low income immigrant students from higher education.
Many undocumented immigrants went back to Mexico and others have decided to remain in the U.S. and continue the struggle for a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
One of the state's anti-immigration proposed bills is similar to SB 1070, which would allow police to question the legal status of immigrants during traffic violation stops or domestic investigations. The two other proposed bills include, to legally deny public services to undocumented immigrants, eventhough they pay taxes and the third bill would penalize employers up to $10,000 for knownly hiring an undocumented employee.
The anti-immigrant bills have been tabled for now, but with the Republican controlled legislature and Governor Walker promise to sign such bills, if they come to his desk has triggered an exodus of undocumented immigrants in the state.

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