IT BEGINS: Business owner to flee Minneapolis after riots over city's failure to protect
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The predictable fallout from the massive riots following the death of George Floyd – the permanent loss of businesses and industry – has begun, and its starting in the epicenter of the protests, Minneapolis.
The owner of Sigma 7, a manufacturing company that has been in the city for 33 years, is packing up and leaving after he says his business was left to the mercy of the rioters who summarily burned it to the ground.
Kris Wyrobek told local media he no longer has confidence in the city’s ability to protect his company and his employees, so he’s taking his business and its 50 jobs out of town.
“They don’t care about my business,” Wyrobek told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “They didn’t protect our people. We were all on our own.”
The 7-Sigma plant in south Minneapolis, which the company has maintained since 1987, shut down several hours early around 7 p.m. instead of 11 p.m. as a precautionary measure on the first night of rioting. The company manufactures several products, including rollers for high-speed printing presses and medical training mannequins.
When a fire broke out in an apartment complex under construction that was next door to the manufacturing facility, “the fire engine was just sitting there, but they wouldn’t do anything,” Wyrobek said. The apartment complex was leveled by the fire, and several stores across the street including a Target store were looted during the first night of riots.
City officials and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz defended their responses, noting that the rioting grew so large and out of control that the National Guard had to be activated and called in to help quell them.
“This was a Guard-sized crisis and demanded a Guard-sized response,” said Mayor Jacob Frey, whose prior pandering to Leftists didn’t pay off when he said he couldn’t agree to disbanding the police department.
“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.”
Wyrobek said he had “not in my wildest nightmare” every considered moving his company out of the city in the past. Now, he says, he’s “cautiously optimistic” he can rebuild it, “but we are certainly not able to do that in Minneapolis.”
It’s a safe bet that Wyrobek won’t be the last business owner to vacate Minneapolis. In a separate report, the Star-Tribune noted that at least 570 buildings had been damaged or destroyed during the riots.
“Some have been reduced to rubble, and at least 67 have been destroyed completely by fire. Others have reported extensive water damage or severe fire damage,” the paper reported. In addition, “a 5-mile stretch of Lake Street in Minneapolis and a 1-mile stretch of University Avenue in St. Paul’s Midway area.”
And this was just in Minneapolis-St. Paul. This kind of damage was done to cities all over the country. Add these riots and the billions in damages to the fact that the majority of businesses destroyed or looted were already suffering economically due to the widespread coronavirus lockdowns, and you can begin to appreciate why most Americans would love for 2020 to be over sooner rather than later.