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.