COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) -The city of Columbus saw it’s deadliest year in 2020 and this year, the crime narrative is more of the same as the city reports 18 homicides so far.
The overall consensus is something needs to be done to achieve victory over violence in Columbus because crime impacts more than just those directly affected by it. According to Jerald Mitchell, president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, the stigma of violence in Columbus is bad for business, and if things don’t turn around, the city could begin to see businesses set up shop somewhere else.
“It’s not a negative on the schools or on Columbus as a community,” said Mitchell. “It’s purely and simply a safety factor, and at the end of the day, we want to win all of those opportunities and what’s really important is we find a way to make our community healthy. We can’t quantify those opportunities because in many cases, companies that are looking for new places to expand and grow, they start looking at us before we know there’s an opportunity. And we certainly don’t want to lose opportunities before we know we have an opportunity to win someone’s business.”
A company may fit in Columbus perfectly on paper, when it comes to how much it costs to locate here, but they may overlook the the city mainly because of concerns about safety for their employees.