Downtown Chicago emerges from pandemic — hobbled by crime wave

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Businesses in downtown Chicago that survived the pandemic-related economic slump and two spasms of looting last summer should be ecstatic with Monday’s reopening of America’s third-largest city.

Yet, many are batting a new hardship — a surge in crime that is keeping customers, and their money, away.

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“I’ve never felt more unsafe than I do now,” said Steve Burrows, a 48-year-old attorney who has called Chicago home his entire life. “I work downtown so I’m here every day during the day but I won’t come down here at night or on the weekend.”

If people like Burrows, suburbanites and the millions of tourists who normally visit the lakefront city stay away, Chicago businesses will feel the impact as many are still trying to emerge from the tumult of the last 16 months.

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