The Race for Amazon
Innovation and convenience provided by businesses such as Amazon have been a turning point in how consumers obtain their goods. Following its major growth in popularity, Amazon now is looking to expand from their original headquarter in Seattle by building a second headquarter in another city. With the second headquarters, Amazon is proposing to invest $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the metro area they choose. These fiscal and employment benefits have led many of the major (and minor) metros in the United States to join in the competition of enticing Amazon to consider their location as the new hometown for it’s 2nd headquarters.
During an office campaign process, city officials will often promise job opportunities and economic growth to their potential supporters. In cases where there is a high unemployment rate, leaders of major metropolises will go to extreme measures to try and employ a majority of their citizens so they can reach maximum economic efficiency. Naturally, when a major opportunity, such as the Amazon deal, is proposed leaders of the cities are eager to gain the attention of Amazon reps.
Representatives from St. Louis have tried encouraging Amazon to come to Missouri by advertising that they ‘desperately need’ the jobs. Missouri itself does not have one of the highest unemployment rates, but St. Louis officials argue they need more opportunity for the increasing unemployed individuals in their specific area. Other states have used unemployment as a persuading point as well.
There is a correlation between the states that have high unemployment rates and those rallying for Amazon to come to them. And that’s not surprising. With the job opportunities promised by Amazon, the company could be the answer to solving many of the unemployment issues in area they chose to go to. With unemployment high in a variety of areas, cities looking to attract Amazon decision makers also highlights other advantages to sweeten the deal of what their region has to offer. Representatives from Albuquerque, New Mexico are hoping that not only their abundant workforce but also their affordable land will help put their city in the running.
Dan Gilbert, a billionaire from detroit, participated in this hunt to gain Amazon’s attention by tweeting a video advertising Detroit as an ideal city for the new headquarter. A different Detroit representative has approached the campaign for their city by admitting that while Detroit has a grungy stigma and reputation for a high crime rate, they are looking to showcase a side of Detroit that many people don’t get to see. Detroit used the video to give a glimpse into the potential excitement and environment they are hoping will pull Amazon to build there.
In contrast to Detroit advertising themselves through social media, Tucson has tried to bribe Amazon by sending them a Cactus as a glimpse into the exciting environment they could join.
The gift was gracefully rejected; but Tucson’s Joe Snell, a business and economic leader in the city, thought he achieved his goal of getting Amazon’s attention.
An abundance of new jobs and money being invested in the selected city is enticing to many metro area officials, but an economist at the University of Minnesota sees the commotion as blackmail arguing that Amazon has to pick a city anyway and they most likely already have a select few in mind. However, he does understand that all city officials have the same goal: to bring jobs and other related opportunities to their cities. Amazon is proposing to bring a huge economic growth opportunity, leaving city officials no choice but to advocate for their cities.
Ainsworth, Mara MacDonald Amber. “Dan Gilbert Uses New Hype Video to Push for Amazon Headquarters to Come to Detroit.” WDIV, 2017, www.clickondetroit.com/news/dan-gilbert-pushes-for-amazon-headquarters-to-come-to-detroit-with-new-video.
Bowles, Nellie. “Nothing Is Too Strange for Cities Wooing Amazon to Build There.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/technology/wooing-amazon-second-headquarters.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/business-economy.
Cohen, Nick Wingfield And Patricia. “Amazon Plans Second Headquarters, Opening a Bidding War Among Cities.” The New York Times, The New York Times, July 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/technology/amazon-headquarters-north-america.html.
Emily Badger, Quoctrung Bui And Claire Cain Miller. “Dear Amazon, We Picked Your New Headquarters for You.” The New York Times, The New York Times, Sept. 2017, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/09/upshot/where-should-amazon-new-headquarters-be.html.“Unemployment Rate By HBCU State – April 2017.” Unemployment Rate By HBCU State – April 2017 |, Apr. 2017, hbcumoney.com/2017/06/04/unemployment-rate-by-hbcu-state-april-2017/.