Chicago violent crime causing corporate exodus

(NewsNation) — While news of McDonald’s CEO, Chris Kempczinski, sounding the alarm on Chicago’s surging crime rate Wednesday brought concerns over whether the Midwest metropolis could retain its businesses and keep its citizens safe, Windy City is not alone — such has been the case with major cities across the country.

Chicago’s crime rate has increased 38% overall since last year, but the city is not alone. Nearly half of those polled in San Francisco, where saw an 8% spike, said they’ve been victims of robberies. In New York, the overall violent crime rate is 35% higher than at the same time last year.

The problem is nationwide.

Fallout from the violence has struck Chicago the worst, however, as it experiences major corporate fallout with big businesses moving out of the city.

Betsy Brantner Smith, who is the spokesperson for the National Police Association, joined NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” Friday to give her reaction to Chicago losing businesses. She said more are bound to follow suit.

“I think they’re absolutely going to have to. I mean — especially the women-owned businesses in the city of Chicago — those small business owners just don’t feel safe. And it’s just not retail crime but it’s the potential for more dangerous violent crime,” Smith said.

Boeing has already announced it’s pulling its corporate headquarters out of Chicago. Likewise, Citadel Hedge Fund is looking to escape down to Miami, and Caterpillar is moving its global headquarters from a nearby Chicago suburb down to Texas.

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The economic implications of corporate departures stem from the city’s inability to get violence under control, which, as Kempczinski said, creates a climate of fear.

“That’s one of the things about McDonald’s, is whatever’s happening in society, good or bad, you can be sure it’s happening in a McDonald’s. So, we’re seeing, in a very tangible way right now, what’s going on in this city. It’s happening day in and day out in our restaurants,” Kempczinski said while speaking to the press.

The global headquarters of McDonald’s in Chicago brings two thousand jobs to the city and has an economic impact of $2 billion annually on the area.

Kempczinski said he needs to see a plan from the city, going as far as asking those in the room to raise their hands if they knew what the city’s plan for crime was.