As one of the worst crime waves to hit Chicago in recent history rages on, some business owners have had enough with the struggle and are ready to move on from the windy city.
Gary Rabine, an Illinois business owner, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that he is no longer willing to do business in Chicago due to multiple issues, rising crime being chief among them.
Rabine explained that Chicago is no longer a safe place to do business for either his employees or the physical assets of his 13 businesses.
“We would do thousands of jobs a year in the city, but as we got robbed more, my people operating rollers and pavers we got robbed, our equipment would get stolen in broad daylight and there would usually be a gun involved, and it got expensive and it got dangerous,” Rabine said. He added that security and insurance costs rendered the jobs “twice as much as they should be.”
“What happened eventually is we said enough is enough,” he said. Rabine now does business in the suburbs of Chicago and in Wisconsin.
Rabine, a Republican gubernatorial candidate for Illinois, isn’t the first nor the largest business owner to leave the city. Ken Griffin, the richest man in Illinois and founder of hedge fund Citadel, announced that he would be relocating his business to Florida.
“Chicago will continue to be important to the future of Citadel, as many of our colleagues have deep ties to Illinois,” he wrote to his employees. “Over the past year, however, many of our Chicago teams have asked to relocate to Miami, New York and our other offices around the world.”
Griffin had expressed concern about rising crime in Chicago. Under the leadership of Lori Lightfoot, Chicago experienced 797 homicides in the city alone, the largest number in any American city, in spite of Lightfoot’s gun control laws, some of the most restrictive in the country.
“If you want a great culture in your company you have to have people that love being on the team and they don’t want to live in a violent area,” Griffin said, acknowledging that he was “confident that Citadel was losing people.”
“They don’t want to live in a place where their kids can’t walk to school safely and their wives and kids can’t go shopping in a beautiful environment like Michigan Avenue which was once the safest place you could ever go shopping,” he continued.
Citadel is the third major company to move out of state, following construction machinery manufacturer Caterpillar and airplane manufacturer Boeing, who moved to Irving, Texas, and Arlington, Virginia, respectively.
In spite of these moves, Governor J.B. Pritzker claimed that “Countless companies” are staying.
“We will continue to welcome those businesses — including Kellogg, which just this week announced it is moving its largest headquarters to Illinois — and support emerging industries that are already creating good jobs and investing billions in Illinois, like data centers, electric vehicles and quantum computing,” Pritzker spokeswoman Emily Bittner said.
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