Chicago used to be his kind of town. No more, says Gary Rabine, who is joining the list of people and corporations moving their businesses out of the crime-drenched city.
Amid a 35 percent increase in crime over a year ago, business exits are on the rise, according to Fox News.
5-month-old girl among 5 killed, 27 others wounded in weekend shootings across Chicago https://t.co/T0rnofaKgi
— Sun-Times Breaking (@CSTbreaking) June 27, 2022
Billionaire Ken Griffin is moving his hedge fund firm, Citadel, out of the Windy City. Caterpillar, the construction equipment company, is forsaking its Chicago-area headquarters to move to Texas. Boeing is also moving out, leaving Chicago for Virginia.
Next in line is Rabine, the founder of the Rabine Group and owner of 13 businesses. His road-paving company is hitting the highway and getting out of Chicago, he said.
“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 told Fox News this week.
The additional cost of security and insurance meant jobs cost “twice as much as they should be,” he said, noting that work done for utilities ultimately meant ratepayers who could not afford it bore the extra costs.
“What happened eventually is we said enough is enough,” Rabine said.
“We stopped doing work down there, we stopped doing work for the gas company, the electric company, the south side, the west side, and eventually all over Chicago. Those companies now work in other places. They work over the border in Wisconsin, the outer suburbs of Chicago, where they feel safer,” he said.
🚨CLOSED w/o notice | An ALDI in Auburn-Gresham shuts down abruptly last week, frustrated neighbors tell me.
The company cites “repeated burglaries and declining sales.”
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Rabine said public safety is the foundation for any company to succeed.
“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. 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 said.
Rabine had two reasons Chicago continues to decline — Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“Lightfoot is a lousy leader,” he told Fox News. “She doesn’t stand up for the community at all.”
“We have to get this governor out,” Rabine said. “He’s a socialist Democrat, a lousy leader, and a terrible American.”
In fact, he ran as a candidate to replace Pritzker but finished fourth in the Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday.
— Gary Rabine (@GaryRabine) May 17, 2022
Griffin was clear about the impact of crime when he said his hedge fund was leaving town.
“If people aren’t safe here, they’re not going to live here,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “I’ve had multiple colleagues mugged at gunpoint. I’ve had a colleague stabbed on the way to work. Countless issues of burglary. I mean, that’s a really difficult backdrop with which to draw talent to your city from.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.