Oakland Businesses Struggle Amid Rising Crime

Oakland Businesses Struggle Amid Rising Crime

Uncover the challenges Oakland businesses face due to rising crime with insights from a revealing survey and perspectives from local entrepreneurs.

Impact of Crime on Local Businesses

A recent survey conducted in Oakland has revealed a startling impact of crime on local businesses. 

The survey, focusing on business owners’ experiences in the area, indicates a distressing trend: many are considering either closing their doors or relocating due to the surge in criminal activities.

Melissa Myers, owner of The Good Hop, a draft beer bar approaching its tenth anniversary, highlighted this worrying situation.

Declining Sales and Increased Expenses

Myers shared that her business is experiencing a significant downturn, with sales dropping by 23% this year, adding to a 14% decline from the previous year. 

She attributes this downturn partly to frequent car break-ins, which have deterred customers. 

“They spend $16 on a fun night out, only to face a $300 expense due to car break-ins,” Myers explained. 

Additionally, Myers has faced the cost of replacing broken windows in four separate incidents, further straining her finances.

Rising Crime Statistics

The Oakland police department’s reports corroborate Myers’ concerns, showing a 35% increase in robberies and a 27% rise in car break-ins compared to the previous year.

Employee Safety Concerns

The crime wave has affected not only business revenues but also employee safety. 

Myers noted that two of her employees resigned due to feeling unsafe walking to their cars at night.

Survey Results: A Grim Outlook

The survey, initiated by the Koreatown Northgate Community Benefit District (KONO) and its partners, revealed alarming statistics:

  • 59% of respondents are contemplating closing or relocating their businesses.
  • 94% have experienced crime.
  • 92% have stopped reporting crimes to police, feeling that no action would be taken.
  • 50% have lost staff due to these issues.

Personal Accounts of Business Owners

Nigel Jones, owner of the Calabash restaurant, shared a personal account of his chef’s car being stolen, emphasizing the need for community support. 

Shari Godinez, executive director of KONO, highlighted the dire situation, with some businesses reporting a 50% revenue drop.

Seeking Solutions

Business owners have proposed solutions, such as increased foot patrols, which Godinez plans to present to city leaders and the police department. 

Meanwhile, Myers is exploring different strategies, like hosting entertainment events, to attract customers to her bar.

Ongoing Survey and Future Steps

Oakland business owners have until December 15th to participate in the survey, available at Koreatown Northgate

The final results and proposed solutions will be shared with city officials to address this critical situation and revive the local business community.

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