Flagged business list unpopular with some business owners

July 9, 2012

The city of Chicago has been tracking 37 so-called "problem stores" through a crime-fighting initiative that started in April. That's not sitting well with some store owners on the list.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration links city citations and customer complaints to build a case against certain stores. Under the Flagged Business initiative, those stores face more inspections and could get their license revoked. The city calls the businesses a haven for criminal activity or the potential for becoming one.

Danny Zee is the manager of Dollar Depot on the city's South Side, one of the stores flagged.

"The city's just blaming us for anything. If anything, we're keeping the city busy. We're paying the tax dollars," Zee said.

His store's been cited for violations like selling un-stamped cigarettes and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Zee disputes that and says his business works to be a positive fixture in the community.

"The atmosphere in here is family. That's all it is. There's no gang related nothing in this whole business," he said.

He says it's the police who need to do a better job.

Last week, the city revoked the license of AM Dollar, a convenience store in the Uptown neighborhood. After being flagged, the business continued to have violations and reports of gang disturbances.