List of Businesses Leaving Chicago


List of businesses leaving Democrat-run Chicago, Illinois

The dramatic spike in businesses leaving Chicago can be traced back to 2020 when Mayor Lori Lightfoot began to reform the police in the wake of the George Floyd murder.

Lightfoot, who is also black, embraced the Black Lives Matter cause. She welcomed street demonstrators. Violence, looting, and chaos followed long months of distress.

With rising tax rates, big companies no longer feel safe doing business in the windy city. The same scenario is evident in the rising crimes of Democrat-run cities.

Spike in businesses leaving Chicago can be traced back to 2020.

2023, Old Navy

Old Navy’s flagship store on State Street in the Loop, downtown Chicago, decided not to renew its contract after it ended in 2022. It’s been a good ten years until crime and looting became common in the once magnificent city.

There are no plans to relocate the Old Navy store.

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) reported retail vacancy in Chicago is now around 20 percent. “The pandemic is part of it. Crime is part of it,” said its president, reported CBS news.

2023, Walgreens at Wicker Park 

Walgreens in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood on Milwaukee Avenue closed after more than a decade. In 2010, Walgreens renovated the former ‘Noel State Bank building’ that opened in 1919.

It is one of its most well-known stores partly because of its ornate interior and repurposed bank features such as the “vitamin vault.”

In 2020, Target, Foot Locker, and about 40 to 60 shops were destroyed or looted. In 2021 and 2022, brazen armed robberies worsened and continued in the area.

In December 2022, just two months before Walgreens closed its doors, CBS News reported 40 violent robberies in Chicago in three weeks, with no arrests in any of them.

2023, Pickwick Theater

Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge is to close in early January 2023. The theatre is an art deco movie palace built in 1928 as a vaudeville stage and movie theatre. It became a movie theater in 1967.

2023, Banana Republic

Major retailer Banana Republic is leaving Chicago when its lease expires in 2023, according to Fox 32. Although the store may still be visible in outlets in the suburb, it will no longer be at the Michigan Avenue store.

Boeing said in May it was leaving Chicago for Washington, DC; The company didn’t blame crime. Analysts said the change signaled it has lost the commercial race to Airbus and wants to be seen as primarily a defense and space contractor. Boeing used to be based in Seattle from its founding in 1916 to 2001.

2022, Citadel Hedge Fund, Caterpillar, and Boeing

Airplane manufacturer Boeing’s Corporate headquarter is leaving downtown Chicago for a suburb in Washington, D.C.

Construction machinery maker Caterpillar is leaving its Deerfield headquarters in Illinois for Irving, Texas. However, most of the company’s manufacturing jobs will remain in Illinois.

In the same year, Illinois’s richest man, Ken Griffin, announced he was moving the home of his $57 billion Citadel hedge fund to Miami.

According to Bloomberg, the departures of a homegrown hedge fund and Boeing, the biggest U.S. exporter, is a symbolic blow for the city. It questions whether Chicago can fix deep-rooted problems to stay competitive in attracting and keeping businesses.

2022, Tyson Foods

Tyson staffers will relocate next year from its Chicago hub and Dakota Dunes to its corporate headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas. The company employs about 137,000 people worldwide.

Tyson was in Chicago in 2014 but no longer sees its relevance in staying in Chicago. The company also had a rocky year because of inflation. Tyson is the 6th biggest company to leave Chicago in 2022.

2021, Chicago Bears plans to move to Arlington

The Chicago Bears signed a purchase agreement for Arlington International Racecourse in September 2021 with plans to build a new stadium. The Bears remain committed to Soldier Field until its lease ends in 2032.

The sports franchise was founded in Decatur and moved to Chicago in 1921; the specific reasons are unclear. The Chicago Bears dismissed Mayor Lightfoot’s proposals to renovate Soldier Field, owned by the Chicago Park District.

Nicole Fightmaster and her dog, Odessa, live on the street in Chicago. Original image from Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress collection.

The Blue City Murder Problem

Illinois is also losing FTX and Highland Ventures employees to other states and smaller companies.

The same trend is seen in “progressive” Democrat-run Atlanta, GA, Columbus OH, Detroit MI, Kansas, Louisville KY, Milwaukee WI, Minneapolis MN. As well as Indianapolis, New York, Seattle, and California.

The Blue City Murder Problem,” a study by the Edwin Meese III Center for Judicial and Legal Studies at the Heritage Foundation, found that, of the 30 American cities with the highest murder rates, 27 have Democratic mayors.


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