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Technology

Here’s how cities are reacting to being finalists for Amazon HQ2

Amazon has whittled down the list of finalists for its second headquarters to 20 metro areas, from a pool of 238 proposals.

The contenders aren’t too surprising, as the front-runners identified by a CNBC analysis are still in the mix. Mayors and elected officials from the finalist cities are making their pitch.

Here’s how representatives for some of the 20 contenders have responded:

“We are pleased that the Austin region has advanced to the second round,” said Mike Berman, a spokesman for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to presenting the best of what our region has to offer and how we can partner with Amazon.”

“I am proud that Boston is on Amazon’s shortlist for its second North American headquarters,” Mayor Marty Walsh said. “As a thriving city with a talented and diverse workforce, culture of innovation and opportunity for all, I see no better city than Boston for Amazon to call their second home.”

“Today’s news makes clear that Amazon recognizes Chicago’s great strengths — access to talent, transportation, higher education, affordability and quality of life, which are the keys to growth and prosperity,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “We are prepared to compete at the next level and the next level after that.”

Mayor Mike Rawlings tweeted:

“My mayorship reflects a generational change that is perfect for receiving a tech company like Amazon. We need to usher in the knowledge-based economy to our city and ensure that it filters down to every resident,” said Mayor Francis Suarez. “I put a call into Jeff Bezos and said I would be willing to fly to Seattle and make a personal pitch. He is from Miami so we would love nothing more for him to have his second HQ in his hometown.”

“Amazon’s decision to place Newark on its short list of 20 municipalities to host its new headquarters is by itself a great victory for our city,” Mayor Ras Baraka said. “This is how we get things done in Newark. We come together as a city and our skill in collaboration is itself something that will enormously benefit Amazon.”

“We didn’t need to offer a huge incentive package in order to make the shortlist. So our strategy is clearly working,” Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” on Thursday. “If you want to be the most innovative technology company in the 21st century, you want to be in the city that has the most diverse set of companies you can work with. We think New York speaks for itself, and we want to work with them to create the environment they need and have the talent they need to grow.”

Glen said there are cities on the list “that are not really contenders,” adding it’s hard to compare a city the size of Nashville, for example, to New York City.

“Philadelphia’s inclusion in Amazon’s Top 20 potential locations for HQ2 is an exciting milestone for the city,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “We are thrilled at today’s announcement, and look forward to working with Amazon’s team on the next steps of this process to further highlight all that Philadelphia has to offer.”

“Raleigh is a thriving community that would be attractive for any business, large or small,” Mayor Nancy McFarlane said. “We are proud of the investments and partnerships we’ve made that enhance our many attributes, such as our world-class university system, well-trained workforce, diverse economy, strong infrastructure, and emerging entrepreneurial spirit. We look forward to sharing Raleigh’s unique story with Amazon in the near future and learning about next steps.”

Mayor John Tory tweeted:

“When asked what’s the best city for one of the fastest-growing companies, we answered: #ObviouslyDC,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “Making this list reaffirms what we already knew going into the bid process – Washington, DC is no longer a one-company government town, we are a leader in innovation and tech, brimming with top talent and endless opportunity.”

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said he was disappointed that Detroit didn’t make the cut. Here’s his full statement:

It’s disappointing we will not be welcoming a new Amazon headquarters to Detroit, but appreciate their continued investment and expansion in Michigan, including right in the heart of our Comeback City.

Detroit’s proposal to Amazon was incredible and garnered positive attention for the city from all across the world. As a state we will continue to pursue these types of valuable opportunities for our talented workforce.

We are a top 10 state and we will continue driving to be the best in the nation. There is no limit to what Michiganders can do, and this proposal demonstrated exactly how we can marshal our resources and collaborate. Throughout the process of putting together this bid, we learned our greatest strengths and identified areas where we can improve. Now we are even more ready for the next big prospect.

Michigan’s spirit is unstoppable, and so is our comeback. This won’t set us back — we’re accelerating to the next opportunity. We know it’s out there.

Source: Tech CNBC
Here’s how cities are reacting to being finalists for Amazon HQ2

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