“The fire engine was just sitting there, but they wouldn’t do anything.”
Kris Wyrobek, president and CEO of 7-Sigma, decided to move his business out of Minneapolis after rioters burned his plant to the ground.
Wyrobek does not “trust public officials who allowed his plant to burn.” The city will lose 50 jobs.
7-Sigma is one of the top producers “of precision rollers used in high-speed printing systems used to produce bank statements and social security checks.”
From Star Tribune:
“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.” Walz ordered the National Guard into Minneapolis to restore order at the request of Mayor Jacob Frey. The violence sometimes overshadowed peaceful protests over the death last month of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
Other business owners said “their pleas for help went unanswered.”
Rioters damaged about 1,000 commercial properties. The number includes 52 businesses “completely destroyed and 30 other locations that sustained severe damage.”
The damage costs could be more than $300 million, only second to the LA riots in 1992.
Frey is trying to make amends:
To accelerate the recovery, Frey announced Monday the creation of Minneapolis Forward: Community Now Coalition, which includes representatives of local business and community groups. Frey said the group will seek input from black residents and business owners to make sure rebuilding efforts accommodate their needs.
“George Floyd moved to Minneapolis for a fresh start,” Frey said. “In honoring his memory and generations of black people who have been victimized before him, we will rebuild as a stronger, more equitable and more inclusive city.”
Frey said the coalition will seek financial help from a broad range of private and public partners, but he refused to say how much money the city of Minneapolis is willing to commit to the rebuilding effort, saying that would be “premature.” He said the group does not yet have a fundraising goal.
“The city will need to do its part, as well,” said Frey, noting that he will request that any new permits or license be “expedited as much as possible.”
Wyrobek’s mind is already made up. 7-Sigma is leaving Minneapolis no matter what.DONATE
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