Minneapolis Manufacturer: The City Doesn’t Care About Protecting Us — So We’re Outta Here


After 33 years in Minneapolis, Kris Wyrobek thought he could rely on the city to protect his manufacturing business. In the wake of the city’s paralysis in the rioting — which the Star Tribune helpfully notes “sometimes overshadowed peaceful protests” — Wyrobek has had enough. He’s packing up his 7-Sigma plant to rebuild elsewhere after the city let it burn down, and he’s taking 50 jobs with him:

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.”

The city’s mayor Jacob Frey disputes that characterization, claiming that police and fire were doing everything they could, but no one will get fooled by that for long. The news coverage of the riots made the retreat by the city crystal clear. Even Gov. Tim Walz called the city’s response an “abject failure” when he belatedly called up the National Guard to put down the rioting and looting.

Some may shrug at Wyrobek’s declaration and say that it’s just 50 jobs, but Wyrobek isn’t likely to be alone. He just has the distinction of being the first to go public with his decision to leave, and the reasons for doing so. How many business owners in Minneapolis might decide that the risk of a repeat is just too high, and that the track record of city leadership represents a bad risk?

For that matter, some businesses might not have the ability to reopen in place even if rebuilt. Insurance losses in the riots will go over $500 million, and customers in Minneapolis will have higher rates as a result of the suddenly-exposed risk of doing business in the city. For some businesses, that might be too much of a hurdle for reinvesting in the city.

At this point in time, the city should be stressing continuity and a return to normality. They need to preserve their tax base and their jobs market in order to get the resources necessary for recovery. Instead, the city council has focused on radical change in “dismantling” the police department, rather than focus on reforming their own agency. The council president has scolded people who might be concerned about burglaries as needing to “check their privilege.” How many looted businesses will want to reopen with the city’s attitude toward protecting them after this? Even those with the financial resources to reopen? Will that cause insurers to feel more comfortable underwriting businesses in Minneapolis, or less? Lisa Bender is making the case that Minneapolis doesn’t care about its business or residential community more than her critics are.

Nevertheless, the big story in today’s Strib isn’t that the Minneapolis city council is busy burning down the rest of their credibility. It’s that Republicans are “pouncing” on it, or at least it was until the Strib changed their headline overnight. No one’s “pouncing” in this morning’s version of the story, but Donald Trump is now “on the attack”:

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Chicago Mayor Now Pleading With Walmart And Other Companies Not To Leave The City

Defunding the police might not be the question. Funding ANYTHING may become the issue. Yeah, let’s put THESE people in control of the entire nation. They seem to really have it together.

minneapolis is a dead city along with the state. draw a radius of 25 miles from the center of the city and watch the exit of both commercial and residential homes over the next 18 months. minneapolis is the new detroit. as for the city’s adolescent, goofy mayor, he will run for gov the next election. walz and him new movie-politically dumb and dumber. Oh! that is bar fly polois and misogynist chucky schummer.

Can you imagine?!
Charlie Brown was a CARTOON character.
That’s why he kept falling for Lucy’s promise she’s hold the football.
But, every time she pulled it away at the last minute.
And Charlie never learned.
As to businessmen?
They are not cartoon characters.
They do learn.
A city is a pact with its residents.
That includes its businesses.
When the city breaks that promise, no amount of claiming it wants the business to rebuild after being destroyed will do.
ACTS need to accompany those promises.
And there are no acts, just empty words.

@Nan G: Businesses as well as citizens pay LOTS in taxes for police protection, for one thing. If they can’t get that, why would they stay and PAY those taxes?