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Lessons Enterprises Can Learn from Amazon About Locating HQs

10 February 2019
Lessons Enterprises Can Learn from Amazon About Locating HQs

"We're focused on engaging with our new neighbors-small business owners, educators and community leaders", the spokesperson said in an email.

The World's biggest retailer is reportedly exploring potential alternatives to building its new headquarters in New York City due to backlash from local opposition, a person briefed on the matter said on Friday.

According to the Post story: "Amazon executives have had internal discussions recently to reassess the situation in NY and explore alternatives, said the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about the company's perspective".

Unions, which have organized most of the deal opposition on the grounds that e-commerce destroys traditional retail jobs, said the Washington Post report suggests Amazon is threatening to pull the plug on the efforts to pressure ny politicians and galvanize support. Protesters have become increasingly vocal, flipping some politicians who were originally for HQ2 against it. Opponents are taking issue with the lucrative subsidies offered to Amazon, and the impending strain the new operation could place on infrastructure and affordability.

No specific plans to abandon the NY location has been made.

But if it were to back out of the NY project, Amazon has plenty of options: More than a dozen other cities were in the running for HQ2. At the time, Amazon said it would open two HQ2 campuses - one in Virginia and one in NY.

The retailing giant had not yet purchased or leased any land for the project there, which would make it easy to leave, the unnamed individuals told the Post, which is owned by Amazon's Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) also opposed Amazon's expansion there, telling the Fox Business Network that his goal was to see the deal "thrown into the garbage".

New York City lawmakers who weren't intimately involved with the "HQ2" bid to bring in Amazon have been sharply critical of giving billions in taxpayer dollars to the world's most valuable corporation, so it can add to an already existing presence in the region.

Amazon hasn't built any structures nor finalized any land leases in NY as of yet, and likely wouldn't until 2020.

Cuomo complained that the new federal tax code that caps state and local tax deductions (SALT) on wealthy New Yorkers has triggered a drop in state tax revenues. It's very likely that this strong public outcry is one of the primary factors for Amazon to be allegedly rethinking its plans.

Nearly immediately after Seattle-based Amazon announced previous year that it chose Long Island City as one of two sites to build new corporate offices, a backlash emerged from lawmakers and community organizers in the Empire State.

Announced in November, the HQ2 locations in LIC and Crystal City, Virginia, marked the culmination of a nationwide pageant where cities across the country vied for Amazon's favor.

In addition to raising concerns about the tax breaks given to Amazon, critics have noted that the company has said it would not support employees who seek to unionize. But apparently New York's population is different, and that threatens those people.

Basically, the whole thing could be summed up as "nice Amazon deal, New York". Protestors also disrupted the hearing. Amazon has done so in Northern Virginia.