Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos started the popular shopping site 23 years ago in Seattle, Washington. After all of these years, Amazon is still based out of Seattle, but the company’s continual growth has made it necessary to branch out. The original headquarters location will remain in Seattle, and the search is currently on for a second headquarters in North America.
A Huge Economic Boost
In the past, Amazon.com focused solely on locations in the United States. Now, though, Jeff Bezos has opened up the search to all of North America. Whichever city is ultimately able to win the Amazon headquarters lottery will receive an almost instant economic boost.
That’s because the world’s biggest online business has committed to creating 50,000 new jobs to staff its second headquarters. Additionally, the estimated cost of constructing Amazon’s new home is $5 billion, which represents a huge win for local construction companies.
Which Cities Are Eligible?
Do you think your hometown would be ideal for what Amazon has dubbed HQ2? There’s some criteria that must be met in order for a city to be considered. First, the overall metropolitan area has to contain a population of more than 1 million. It’s also critical for the selected city to have a proven business-friendly and stable environment. Other qualifiers include the availability of fee reductions, relocation grants, and tax exemptions.
How Politics Might Influence Amazon.com’s Decision
Some were surprised when Jeff Bezos started looking at Canada and Mexico as potential locations for HQ2. However, those who are aware of Bezos’ political leanings know that he has been extremely critical of President Donald J. Trump’s immigration policies.
Bezos was recently one of eight tech leaders to urge the president not to deport 800,000 people by repealing DACA. If President Trump continues to move forward with his announced plans, a North American city outside of the United States may look more appealing to Amazon.com.
Which Cities Are Most Likely to Become Amazon’s Second Home?
There’s a lot of speculation about which cities might be on the shortlist to become the home of Amazon’s second headquarters. Toronto is getting some media attention as a potential hotspot due to it being much easier for companies in Canada to hire foreign workers.
This might seem like a slap in the face to the Made in the USA crowd, but it’s important to remember that not only is Bezos likely to stand up for his political beliefs but there’s also a noticeable shortage of qualified engineers and other STEM workers in the United States. This is one of the major reasons that so many tech companies stand opposed to anti-immigration legislation.
If Amazon.com decides to remain in the United States, there are several cities that could end up as the home of HQ2. Some of the top candidates include Atlanta, Georgia, and major metropolitan areas located in southern Florida, New Jersey and northern Virginia. Amazon also has an existing relationship with Detroit, Michigan, and is in the process of building a warehouse and fulfillment center in the Metro Detroit area.
Cities interested in becoming Amazon.com’s new home must submit a proposal to the company by October 19.
[Featured Image by David Ryder/Getty Images]