Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is touting the business friendly nature of his state in response to news that a billionaire hedge fund manager is fleeing crime-ridden Chicago and moving his company to Florida.
“Under Gov. DeSantis’ leadership, Florida is booming, because it’s a free state,” DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told Fox News Digital shortly after the announcement that billionaire Ken Griffin is moving his company, Citadel Securities, from Chicago to Miami. “Workers and business owners do not have to worry about lockdowns, restrictions, or mandates. Taxes are low, while infrastructure continues to improve.”
“Moreover, Florida is a law and order state,” Pushaw continued. “Violent crime has skyrocketed in cities like Chicago because of pro-crime leftist ideology. We do not tolerate that in Florida. Because of our safe, business friendly environment, businesses from all over the country are relocating here, creating jobs and income. We welcome Citadel to Miami as the latest new arrival!”
In a memo to employees earlier this week, Griffin called Miami a city of “diversity” and suggested its “energy” would offer up a better environment. Though he did not directly cite Chicago’s infamous rising crime stats in the memo, Griffin has previously voiced frustration with crime in the Windy City.
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“If people aren’t safe here, they’re not going to live here,” Griffin told the Wall Street Journal in April. “I’ve had multiple colleagues mugged at gunpoint. I’ve had a colleague stabbed on the way to work. Countless issues of burglary. I mean, that’s a really difficult backdrop with which to draw talent to your city from.”
2021 was Chicago’s deadliest year in a quarter-century with 797 homicides, the most since 1996 and 25 more than were recorded in 2020.
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Additionally, there were 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021, which is just over 300 more than were recorded in 2020 and a staggering 1,415 more shooting incidents than were recorded in the city in 2019.
As of May, there were 17,597 reports of violent crimes in Chicago since the beginning of the year which is a 35% increase compared to last year’s 13,026 violent crimes during the same time period.
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Griffin, who is reportedly worth almost $30 billion, has been active politically in Chicago and poured nearly $50 million of his personal fortune into Aurora, Illinois Mayor Richard Irvin’s “tough on crime” gubernatorial challenge to Illinois Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, lockdowns, high taxes, and rising crime have caused many individuals and businesses to move to the Sunshine State.
Sarasota and Tampa both ranked in the top five metropolitan areas people moved to in 2021, according to a report from online real estate marketplace Zillow. The top metropolitan areas people moved to Sarasota and Tampa from were Chicago and New York City. Miami was also the top designation for people moving from New York City, Zillow found.
“Our plan was to reassess in the summer of 2022 where we wanted to go,” Former Chicago resident Lauren Callahan told Fox News Digital in December. “But with COVID and city life in general…we decided to come to Florida in November.”
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The top driving forces behind Callahan’s move were Chicago’s COVID-19 protocols, which kept her and her fiancé inside a “small, one-bedroom” apartment for a long period of time as city businesses and restaurants shut down, as well as “out of control” crime.
“It was creeping up into the North Side, which is where we lived. … You know, it’s a city, so everywhere has its issues, but it’s typically one of the safer areas. Carjackings, robberies — just to the point where I didn’t ‘t feel safe alone outside if it was dark out,” she said. “It just isn’t a good way to live.”