Small businesses in urban areas have been devastated by the coronavirus epidemic and widespread rioting and looting. Business owners have had their property destroyed and their personal safety put at risk because of the mob of ANTIFA and BLM hooligans. Many have even had to resort to hiring their own security because they can’t rely on Leftist city governments or local police departments to protect them.
But some of these businessmen and women have had enough. In Seattle, a group of small business owners are suing the city of Seattle for failing to protect them from the occupation of the Capitol Hill district which became known as CHAZ (later renamed CHOP).
The New York Times reported, “Now a group of local businesses owners — including a locksmith, the owner of a tattoo parlor, a mechanic, the owners of a Mexican restaurant— is suing the city. The lawsuit claims that ‘Seattle’s unprecedented decision to abandon and close off an entire city neighborhood, leaving it unchecked by the police, unserved by fire and emergency health services, and inaccessible to the public’ resulted in enormous property damage and lost revenue.
The Seattle lawsuit — and interviews with shop owners in cities like Portland and Minneapolis — underscores a key question: Can businesses still rely on local governments, which are now rethinking the role of the police, to keep them safe? The issue is especially tense in Seattle, where the city government not only permitted the establishment of a police-free zone but provided infrastructure like concrete barriers and portable toilets to sustain it.”
This trend will undoubtedly lead to businesses fleeing the inner cities for safer pastures in the suburbs or rural communities. This is starting to happen already in Minneapolis. Breitbart reported in June about one such manufacturer that has already pledged to flee the city:
“The owner of a manufacturing plant in Minneapolis, Minnesota, says he will move his business out of the city after officials failed to protect his livelihood from being set on fire in riots this month.
Owner of 7-SIGMA, Kris Wyrobek, told the Star Tribune in an interview that he plans to leave Minneapolis after protesters, arsonists, and looters wrecked the city in weeks-long riots over the death of George Floyd.
Wyrobeck’s 7-SIGMA — which designs, manufactures, and supplies polymer and metal components and assemblies for printing, medical, aerospace, and industrial companies and has about 50 employees — will not be returning to Minneapolis after it was set on fire in the riots.
The great economist Thomas Sowell observed that high crime areas cause the cost of running a business in those areas to rise, thus making it less profitable for businesses to remain in those neighborhoods given the financial burdens of increased security and loss prevention.
In his excellent book Discrimination and Disparities, Sowell wrote, “If, however, businesses in these neighborhoods do not recover their higher costs of doing business there in the prices they charge, they face the prospect of being forced out of businesses by losses. There is often a dearth of businesses in low-income, high-crime neighborhoods, which would hardly be the case if there were higher rates of profit being made from the higher prices charged in such neighborhoods.”
There are consequences for failing to protect the populace. Many good people and business are going to flee the inner cities taking with them thousands of jobs which will only exacerbate the problem of low income and high crime areas.
If only they had not called for defunding the police, what might have been…