Amazon HQ2 Gets 238 Proposals from 43 States, D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico

Amazon HQ2

In what can only be described as an Amazon-wooing frenzy, 238 cities, towns and districts have sent in their proposal for why Amazon’s new HQ2 headquarters should be built there. That’s the number recorded by Amazon when it closed the first round of proposal submissions last week.

What happens now? Evaluation, of course. This is where Amazon executives of the highest ranks will be busy reviewing each proposal – and trashing most, to be honest – and setting some sort of qualification rating for each one.

This is a big deal for cities and towns because Amazon clearly said the new headquarters would involve $5 billion in investments over time, and the creation of 50,000 new jobs. No town in America can afford to let go of that opportunity. In a sense, that underlines the need for local economies to be revived.

Amazon HQ2
Source: Business Insider

The nation’s economy as a whole is going through a slow growth phase, and if the average GDP of the country is in the neighborhood of 2 percent, that means a lot of communities are at sub-zero growth rate. Kansas, for example, was at negative 0.7% for Q1 2017, while Iowa was at negative 3.2%. Even California only grew by positive 0.1% for that period.

The problem is widespread, or so it would seem: American cities and towns need something that will revive their local economies and give more jobs. That’s why cities like Newark are in the game, promising up to $7 billion in tax breaks.

What Amazon has done is wake up local leadership by providing them with a really big incentive. Is that a good thing or a bad thing, considering that 237 of the 238 applicants won’t win the bid? That’s up to you to decide, but it is unarguable that the company has made the entire continent (or at least most of it) sit up, take notice and join the lottery.

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