Amazon has just finished visiting the 20 cities that were chosen as the final contenders for its new headquarters. The company has been looking for a second home in the last few months. The e-commerce giant is currently based in Seattle. Cities around the world have expressed their desire to host Amazon’s second headquarters. The chosen city will get a net investment of $5 billion and 50,000 high-paying jobs.
But there’s more to it than that. The cities that have already made it into the top 20 final list have already reported an increase in interest from other major companies. Newark, Austin, and Philadelphia have all confirmed that there has been a surge in economic activity since they made it to the final shortlist. Newark’s Mayor Ras Baraka said that the buzz surrounding Amazon’s search for its second headquarters has renewed interest towards the city, especially from technology companies.
Inquiries by businesses looking to open new offices have also spiked in Philadelphia. Officials in the city say that their Amazon pitch has been a catalyst in attracting other companies. Lauren Cox, an official from Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce confirmed that a London company that was considering the idea of opening its offices in the city moved in immediately after the Amazon bid.
In Austin, another city part of Amazon’s top 20, there has been an unprecedented public relations boom as a result of the Amazon connection. City officials say that in recent months they have tracked over 8,600 articles and more than 7 million shares on social media mentioning Austin and Amazon HQ2. This positive public relations buzz has been welcomed by local businesses and government officials.
Amazon has not revealed much about the process that it’s going to use to ultimately pick the city that will host its second headquarters. The e-commerce giant has instead said that it’s simply looking for a city that’s excited to work with the company. Amazon added that it wants a city where its customers, employees, and the community can benefit. In addition to this, it’s also not clear whether Amazon will pick the winner from the 20 shortlisted cities or narrow down the list to create a final shortlist. The recent visits to the 20 city finalists have been considered by many analysts as a clear indication that the company is getting ready to make a decision.
Amazon began looking for new headquarters in September last year. The company requested bids from cities all around the world, and hundreds of bids from major global cities came in. The opportunity was too good to resist. Amazon estimated that it has added $38 billion to the local Seattle economy since it started operating in the city. These kinds of benefits are definitely worth fighting for and the 20 cities in the final list are hoping that they have done enough to attract the company. We don’t know exactly when the final decision will come but it looks like the e-commerce giant wants to get this done as soon as possible.