At least 160 businesses have left Seattle since March 2020. While some left the city due to the effects of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many more business leaders have said that it’s because of the city’s unwillingness to solve problems related to crime, rioting and violence.
Similar trends can be seen in California and New York, where businesses are moving their headquarters to states that do not have regressive tax policies.
“Downtown started off as a vibrant place to be. Over time, we became embarrassed [to be here],” said Megan Gluth-Bohan, CEO of TR International, a global chemical distributor based out of downtown Seattle that recently announced its intention to move its headquarters.
TR International is moving to Edmonds, a city in nearby Snohomish County, just north of Seattle. The company has called the downtown area its home for more than 20 years, but Gluth-Bohan said the ongoing riot-related violence, rampant homelessness, drug use and other criminal activities were becoming too much to deal with.
Gluth-Bohan said that her company’s mostly female workforce no longer feels safe downtown.
“We had one female employee chased into a Starbucks. Business partners coming in for meetings were dodging human fecal matter and homeless people on the sidewalk,” she added. “We had an employee paying for parking after work. She had her driver’s side window down working the parking machine, and someone attempted to enter her car.” Read more…