Tyson Foods is the latest major company to flee Chicago, what sparked the exodus?

Tyson Foods Inc. has become the latest major company to announce its departure from Chicago, continuing a trend in the city that many believe is the result of the city’s skyrocketing crime rates and threatens to harm its populations. the most vulnerable.

You’re talking about a situation where you have a dug economy, where you have businesses leaving, there are no jobs,” Robert Moffit, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation at the Center for Health, said last month. and Welfare Policy, to Fox News Digital.” And the people who are suffering desperately from it are mostly low-income residents and black and minority people who suffer the most from this high crime..”

Moffit’s comments came after McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski took aim at Chicago in a speech in mid-September, saying the city’s rising crime rate was making it increasingly difficult for businesses to operate. or find employees.

“We have violent crime happening in our restaurants…we’re seeing homelessness issues in our restaurants. We have drug overdoses happening in our restaurants,” Kempczinski said at the time. “So we see in our restaurants, every day, what is happening in society in general.”

CHICAGO FACES MORE BUSINESS DEPARTURES AS TYSON FOODS MOVES TO ARKANSAS

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. (REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski – / Reuters)

Crime in Chicago spiked during the Black Lives Matter riots and the funding of the police movement following the death of George Floyd in 2020, with the city recording its deadliest year in a quarter century in 2021 with 797 homicides.

Chicago Police Department Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy told Fox News Digital over the summer that the city had engaged in a “stealth defunding” of the police department by not providing the resources and adequate staffing in the department as officers leave or retire.

The reality has seen crime rise in almost every category, something companies are taking note of when looking to the future.

Billionaire Ken Griffin announced earlier this year that he was moving his hedge fund company, Citadel, out of Chicago due to rising crime, a move also made by mining equipment giant Caterpillar and Boeing. the largest aerospace company in the world.

Rising CRIME IN CHICAGO HAS SMALL BUSINESSES, BUSINESSES PACK: ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’

Tyson HQ sign in Arkansas

yson Foods Inc., signs at Tyson headquarters in Springdale, Ark. (AP Photo/April L. Brown, File)/AP Newsroom)

“If people aren’t safe here, they won’t live here,” Griffin told the Wall Street Journal in April. “I’ve had multiple co-workers assaulted at gunpoint. I’ve had a co-worker stabbed on the way to work. Countless burglary issues. I mean, it’s a really tough environment to attract people. talent in your city.”

Chicago has also seen small businesses flee the area, with Gary Rabine, founder of the Rabine Group and owner of 13 companies, telling Fox News Digital last month that crime was behind his decision to relocate his paving business. somewhere else.

“We were doing thousands of jobs a year in the city, but as we were getting robbed, my people who were using rollers and cobblestones, we were getting robbed, our equipment was being stolen in broad daylight and there was usually a gun involved, and it got expensive and it got dangerous,” Rabine said.

Rabine also pointed out that increased crime is driving up costs in other areas, pointing to increased spending both on security for his businesses and insurance rates.

CHICAGO MAYOR, LIGHTFOOT, TELLS MCDONALD CEO TO ‘EDUCATE YOURSELF’ AFTER WARNING OF RISE IN CRIME

“What finally happened was that we said enough was enough,” Rabine said. “We stopped working there, we stopped working for the gas company, the electric company, the south side, the west side and eventually all over Chicago. These companies are now working in other places. They work across the border in Wisconsin, the outer suburbs of Chicago, where they feel safer.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended the city in the wake of the exodus, arguing that business leaders such as Kempczinski lack a good understanding of the situation.

I think what would have been helpful was for the CEO of McDonald’s to find out before he spoke,” the Chicago Democrat told reporters last month, pointing to a letter from World Business Chicago President Michael Fassnacht, which she says “lays out in detail all the good news, economic news, about what’s happening in our city.”

But Kempczinksi wasn’t buying the rosy picture painted by city officials.

CHICAGO’S SMALL BUSINESSES ARE SUFFERING FROM THE PLAGUE OF CRIME WITHOUT ANY “EFFORT” FROM THE CITY TO STOP IT

“The fact is, there are fewer large companies headquartered in Chicago this year than there were last year,” Kempczinski said. “There are fewer this month than last month.”

Side-by-side photo of McDonald's CEO and Chicago Mayor

(L) Chris Kempczinski, CEO of McDonald’s (R) Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago (Getty Images/Getty Images)

Tyson becomes the latest company to contribute to the trend, though its executives have refrained from publicly pointing to rising crime as a driver of the decision.

Bringing the talented members of our corporate team and our businesses together under one roof opens up greater opportunities to share insights and ideas, while enabling us to act quickly to resolve issues and deliver products and solutions. innovations that our customers deserve and value,” said Tyson CEO Donnie King. said in a statement announcing the decision, noting that employees would move to the company’s global headquarters in Arkansas.

Nonetheless, Rabine argued that the city will continue to lose business as it struggles to attract talent to a city plagued by violence.

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“If you want a good culture in your company, you have to have people who like being part of the team and don’t want to live in a violent area,” Rabine said. “They don’t want to live in a place where their children can’t safely walk to school and their wives and children can’t shop in beautiful surroundings like Michigan Avenue, which was once the safest place to shop.”

Lightfoot’s office did not immediately respond to a Fox Business request for comment.

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