Voting with their feet: Burned out Minneapolis manufacturer pulls up stakes and vows to rebuild elsewhere
Sure as the sun rises, businesses are making plans to get the hell out of post-riot Minneapolis.
Here's the first known domino, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
A Minneapolis manufacturing company has decided to leave the city, with the company's owner saying he can't trust public officials who allowed his plant to burn during the recent riots. The move will cost the city about 50 jobs.
"They don't care about my business," said Kris Wyrobek, president and owner of 7-Sigma Inc., which has operated since 1987 at 2843 26th Av. in south Minneapolis. "They didn't protect our people. We were all on our own."
Wyrobek said the plant, which usually operates until 11 p.m., shut down about four hours early on the first night of the riots because he wanted to keep his workers out of harm's way. He said a production supervisor and a maintenance worker who live in the neighborhood became alarmed when fire broke out at the $30 million Midtown Corner affordable housing apartment complex that was under construction next door.
"The fire engine was just sitting there," Wyrobek said, "but they wouldn't do anything."
Two days after the riots began, Gov. Tim Walz described the city's response as an "abject failure."
It's completely true. The city did nothing as his business burned, and he was supposed to eat the cost. Who'd want to stay in a place with that little regard for what he does and the people he employs? The far leftists on the city council consider business evil.
And the man has fabulous prospects everywhere he looks because...Minneapolis ranks near the very rock bottom on its climate for doing business. The charts here are stunning. Even if he goes to far-left blue Illinois, he'll get an improved business climate. Minnesota ranks 46 on the Tax Foundation's business tax climate ranking. Illinois ranks #23. Texas is a popular choice, ranking #14. But his best prospect is a lot closer, in neighboring South Dakota, which ranks #2. Relocation costs and employee retention might just be pretty manageable.
Why the heck should he bother with Minneapolis or Minnesota itself, whose sky-high taxes are there to pay for a bigger government? He can't even get a fire engine when his factory, which employs 50 people, is literally burning down. Here's the disgusting response from out-of-touch chicken-dancing Mayor Jacob Frey, emphasis mine:
Frey said Monday that he was unaware of 7-Sigma's decision to move, and he declined to say whether the company's decision reflects the challenges facing city leaders as they try to convince business owners to rebuild in Minneapolis. Many business owners have criticized the city, saying their pleas for help went unanswered.
Frey said the city was overwhelmed by the riots. He said every fire truck was operating during the protests.
"This was a Guard-sized crisis and demanded a Guard-sized response," Frey said. "And once we had the full presence of the National Guard — which by the way hasn't been deployed since World War II — there was a significantly different result."
Note: He called the guard in late after significant persuading.
It's bad stuff, given that the losses throughout Minneapolis have been horrendous. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 500 businesses that it knows about have been damaged or destroyed by fire, property damage, or looting. Of this group, 67 were burned to the ground, and the figure keeps getting progressively higher with each successive news report. The charming Lake Street area, which is known for its international blend of businesses, its "Landmark of Diversity," was hit extremely hard. And those businesses are mostly tiny, making recovery very hard for most of them. They're about to start looking like Van Nuys, California, or South Central Los Angeles, still trying to recover from riots of more than two decades ago.
Here are some of the 67 that were totally annihilated by fire, over the supposed spontaneous rage in the streets over a white cop killing a black suspect, provoking a supposed race riot: Addis Ababa (probably a restaurant), 7 Mile Fashion, Bismillah Grocery and Coffee, Bling Bling Beauty Supply, El Nuevo Rodeo (probably a restaurant), El Sabor Chuchi (same), Fatima African Hair Braiding, Gandhi Mahal Restaurant, Mirasol Express, Paraiso Lounge, Popeyes, Rongo's Auto Service, U2 Nails. Bole Ethiopian Restaurant.
Do those places sound white-run? The riots were clearly about something else. I also noticed a lot of private staffing and employment agencies, hardly a looter's paradise, on the list of completely burned out places. Peoples Organics, on the other hand, merely sustained damage.
The state has been bleeding businesses for years, according to the Minnesota Business Partnership. Twenty years ago, it had 21 Fortune 500 headquarters in Minneapolis. Today, it has 16. Here's the MBP's statement about just how bad it is:
The Competitiveness Challenge Minnesota businesses and entrepreneurs are faced with some of the nation’s highest tax burdens. The state’s tax structure deters business expansion and relocation in Minnesota and discourages companies from locating high-skill, high paying jobs here. Our anti-competitive tax code contributed to Minnesota ranking 43rd out of the 50 states in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index. As Minnesota competes with other states and countries for future investment and job growth, lawmakers should be mindful of how Minnesota's tax and business climate compares to our competitors.
Now that 7-Sigma is pulling up stakes, I'm just waiting for a Minneapolis City Council member to say 'F*** you!' the same way California's far-left state legislator Lorena Gonzalez screamed at Elon Musk after he vowed to take his manufacturing operation for Tesla automobiles, out of state and over to Nevada or Texas.
Frey is clueless and the Minneapolis city council is business hostile. The fact that they are trying to get rid of the police signals just how little they care about the well being of businesses, which require stable property rights and personal security. Businesses costs will inevitably rise if they get rid of the police, and it will come at th expense of jobs.
Why shouldn't they all leave? What's on offer is soaring taxes, a hostile business climate and the expectation that things will never get better for them so long as the people in power remain in power. The clowns of the city council will get religion when enough businesses leave or fail to reopen. Teaching them a lesson is the best thing these businesses can do.
Thomas Lifson adds:
Having been born and grown up in Minneapolis, I retain fondness for the city, but considerable anger against those who have ruined it over the past few decades.
Minnesota has long been a hotbed of entrepreneurship, but the state and its largest city have embraced high taxes, high regulation, and progressive craziness, driving many companies to expand elsewhere and even move their headquarters out of state (and even out of the country, as Medtronic, a leading high tech medical electronics firm, moved to Ireland).That was before rioting made business survival questionable.
Brutal winters are a fact of life there. But residents have long believed that other factors -- primarily social factors like the friendliness of “Minnesota nice” and the culture of rigorous work and play – made up for the incredibly long, cold winters. But if you layer psychotic leftism and state-of-nature lawlessness and racial resentment on top of the former Scandinavian-influenced culture, there is really no reason to hang on.
Unless Minnesota goes through a restoration movement, it is in for a long and painful decline.
Image credit: Theresa Thompson, via Flickr.