Amid Zika fears, Wynwood mom-and-pop stores remind visitors, locals they're still open

Some shops report no difference in business

MIAMI – Zika virus fears are having an impact on South Florida's tourism industry as some people, including Jedediah Bila, a panelist on ABC's "The View," have canceled plans to visit Miami.

"I'm very concerned," Bila said on the show. "I was planning a trip to Miami and then I found out, uh, oh! Zika's in Miami."

While some are putting off their trips to South Florida in light of more than 10 confirmed cases of the virus in the Wynwood neighborhood, businesses are reminding residents and tourists that they are open.

This holds especially true for  mom-and-pop spots, such as the Fireman Derek's Bake Shop & Café. 

"People mention it sometimes but sometimes I feel they don't even have an idea," Elizabeth Rosario, of  Fireman Derek's Bake Shop & Café. "The county is taking precautions because we saw people spraying and someone came by to inspect to make sure we don't have water laying around in the back and stuff."

Miami-Dade County officials want people to remember that the reported Zika cases so far have only affected 1 square mile in a large county and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory is specific to pregnant women.

"There's a pregnant lady sitting here and eating pie the other day. So they don't seem that concerned," Rosario said. 

As of Tuesday there were no major cancellations when it came to planned conventions in the area, and local businesses and hotels are working with health officials to keep guests and travelers informed.

Joaquin Cintron, of Razzledazzle Barbershop, said, although business was slower than usual Tuesday, overall the barbershop hasn't seen a drop in customers.

"I don't see any change because of Zika situation," he said. 

Some who live and work in Wynwood said foot traffic was down on Tuesday night.

Natalia Deya, who works at the Butcher Shop, said business has been slow.

"It's affecting our money and our business," Deya said.

Victor Rivas, who lives in Wynwood, said he is concerned, but not worried about his own health.

"I hope they do what they need to do in order to get it our of here," Rivas said.

Rivas said he has family members in the Dominican Republic who have been infected with the virus, and have made a full recovery.

About the Authors: