“Since we have no leadership and we have a city council that’s so socialist, there really is very, very little support for businesses. As far as the city reaching out to small businesses like ourselves, or any businesses, there has been zero,” Joey Rodolfo, co-owner of the Buki clothing company, said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday.
City officials have been primarily focused on the so-called autonomous zone, an area known as CHOP that was taken over by activists, including far-left members of Antifa and associated groups, earlier this month, Rodolfo asserted.
“In fact, most of the attention has been focused on CHOP, on making sure that people in CHOP are well taken care of, but there has been absolutely no support or no encouragement for us to reopen our stores and have any significant sense that there will be a future here if we were to keep our businesses in Seattle or the state of Washington,” he added.
Final plans for relocation haven’t been set but Rodolfo mentioned Arizona.
Smead Capital Management, a billion-dollar investment firm, said earlier this week that it’s moving to Phoenix.
Cole Smead, the company’s president, cited the unrest that’s taken place in Seattle in recent weeks.
“My biggest concern for Seattle was what the business community is going to come back to, and what kind of businesses are going to come back for customers,” he said, adding that he’s heard rumors of 40-story buildings that will only be 20 percent occupied by October.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat, initially supported the autonomous zone, suggesting the occupation could lead to a “summer of love.”
She reversed course after at least two shootings occurred in the zone, with one person being killed and others rushed to the hospital. The city is moving to dismantle the zone.
“The cumulative impacts of the gatherings and protests and the nighttime atmosphere and violence has led to increasingly difficult circumstances for our businesses and residents,” Durkan told reporters Monday. “The impacts have increased and the safety has decreased.”
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.