August 4, 2021

Building a Safer Business Community

As we continue to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying how we can maximize the recovery of the Midlands’ business community will be the key to success. Advocating for initiatives to promote a business-friendly climate in the region could help attract new investments and economic developments, bolstering our local economy. However, a major hindrance to business growth in any city is rising crime rates, which can discourage companies from choosing to expand to a region.

When a company is deciding where to open a new branch of their business or a new corporate headquarters location, safety is often a top priority. Not only do most businesses want their employees to feel safe and protected in their workplaces, areas with high crime rates can also be a threat to the business’s overall success. Cities with high-crime reputations can be an indicator that a business’s inventory may be at a higher risk for burglary or theft. Similarly, if a major corporation prides themselves on their prestige and branding, they may fear that expanding to a region known for high crime rates could tarnish their trusted reputation.

Crime also impacts communities as a whole. When a community experiences an uptick in crime, whether violent or non-violent, resources are often reallocated to police and public safety initiatives, which can decrease a business’s confidence that they will feel supported and be successful in that region.

These effects are not merely anecdotal. One study found that in Washington, DC, every 10 additional gunshots in a given year were associated with 20 fewer jobs among new establishments, one less new business opening, and one more business closing the same year.

Moving forward, fostering a safe and vibrant community in the Midlands will be critical to attracting new developments and continuing to build a thriving local business scene. Below are tips for preventing crimes in your neighborhood and business so we can start moving towards a safer community for everyone.

Auto-Breaking and Theft Prevention Tips

  • Always lock your vehicle’s doors even on your property
  • Close all windows
  • Do not leave valuables in plain view
  • If your car is stolen: call 911, make sure you know your vehicle’s license plate and VIN numbers and try to get a good description of the suspect
  • Take a picture of your vehicle for record keeping purposes to show officers to aid in the vehicle’s recovery

Home Burglary Prevention Tips

  • Lock all doors and secure all windows anytime you leave your house
  • Close and lock your garage door
  • Turn on exterior lights at night
  • Consider a security/alarm system

Business Burglary Prevention Tips

  • Install a security system equipped with cameras and display security signs on the premises
  • Increase visibility by keeping the building well-lit inside and outside
  • Invest in high quality locks for all exterior entrances

For more crime prevention tips, visit the Columbia Police Department website.

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