Seattle losing Amazon HQ2 no surprise to city leaders

Atlanta Georgia is one of the bookmakers’ favourites

Amazon will now ask the remaining 20 cities to elaborate more on their proposals, answer questions from the company and how those cities will be able to fulfill their hiring needs.

Amazon has said it expects to invest $5 billion in its second headquarters, and that it will eventually be the base for as many as 50,000 "high-paying" jobs.

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma said Thursday that something like Wisconsin's $3 billion incentives package previous year for a Foxconn electronics plant would go too far.

He said Amazon may use the list to pit the locations against each other and get better tax breaks or incentives.

Canada's Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister, however, says Canada can keep on top of the brain drain through training the next generation of talent, along with importing it.

Among the list of 20, most were along the East Coast and Midwest, including Boston, Chicago and Columbus, Ohio.

"Ontario's greatest strength is our people and that's exactly what we communicated directly to Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos", said Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Economic Development and Growth Steven Del Duca in a joint statement after news broke of Toronto making the shortlist. City officials are keeping their bid's details, like possible tax incentives, quiet.

Many cities made elaborate gestures to attract the company's attention.

"We may never know what the factors were as it relates to the Amazon decision", said Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, "What I'm saying is we continue to put our best foot forward and whatever the next opportunity is, we'll be right there for it".

It may seem impossible that Amazon would choose the Toronto region over 19 US metropolitan areas given the political climate.

Although it's known for its retail business, an increasing portion of Amazon's revenue is coming from its data-storage business, a traditional strength of MA tech companies. Chicago is also said to be in the running for two other tech giants.

The company's wish list included proximity to a metropolitan area with more than a million people; ability to attract top technical talent, a location 45 minutes from an global airport, direct access to mass transit, and the capacity to expand the headquarters to more than 740,000 square metres over the next decade. The organization was created in 2016 to help businesses start, grow, and relocate in Montgomery County, Maryland, by helping them gain access to top talent, business and market intelligence and prime locations. Boston's offer includes $75 million for affordable housing for Amazon employees and others.

While cities across the country submitted bids to compete for Amazon's second North American headquarters, Calgary's approach could only be described as eccentric. The company says it will name a victor sometime this year. Some of that growth came from Amazon's almost $14 billion acquisition previous year of natural foods grocer Whole Foods and its 89,000 employees.

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