Mixed Reaction from Business on G8 News - NBC Chicago

Complete coverage of the Chicago NATO Summit

Mixed Reaction from Business on G8 News



    Business reaction to the abrupt news that Chicago would not be hosting the G8 summit this May ranged from relief to indifference to continued optimism.

    "We still have the NATO summits that are going to be in Chicago and I still think that's a good opportunity to showcase Chicago as an international city," said Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce spokesman Chris Johnson, adding that the organization was "just as surprised about the announcement as anybody else."

    But the news brought a sense of relief to Jeannette Johnson, the vice-president of the Greater South Loop Association.

    "Mostly it's a sense of relief, because we didn't know what was coming. We didn't know what to expect. The information wasn't trickling down. Now, we can just prepare for the NATO summit," she said.

    Thomas Applegate, the executive director of Hostelling International Chicago, wasn't pleased with the news.

    "It's a disappointment for us. Honestly, we were looking forward to it. We thought it would be good for Chicago," he said.

    Still others said their plans for protecting their companies and buildings from the expected onslaught of demonstrators would proceed unchecked. 

    "There's still going to be a large crowd. The folks that will be here looking to cause trouble, I don't think the numbers of those will decrease significantly," said Tom Dobry, the executive director of the training center The Apartment Building Owners and Managers’ Association of Chicago operates in conjunction with its union. "If something breaks down and something goes the wrong way, things that are unexpected happen, our folks are going to be left on the front lines to take care of themselves, take care of their buildings and take care of the occupants of their building,"

    Chicago will still host the NATO summit on May 20-21.