Losers may be future winners from Amazon search | Arkansas Blog

Losers may be future winners from Amazon search

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THE AMAZON STRATEGY: Little Rock didn't apply. But those who did might have scored some points in losing, the New York Times says. - ARKANSAS BUSINESS
  • Arkansas Business
  • THE AMAZON STRATEGY: Little Rock didn't apply. But those who did might have scored some points in losing, the New York Times says.

Maybe Little Rock should have gone after the Amazon headquarters after all.

The city is still preening about publicity it received for a PR stunt — announcing it was withdrawing from Mayor Mark Stodola's initial announced intention to bid for Amazon's 2nd headquarters. "It's not you, it's us," said a publicly released letter. The Love Little Rock campaign said the city might not be right for Amazon but had much to offer.

Today comes the New York Times with an account about side benefits to Amazon and, perhaps, the 218 cities that did try and fail to make Amazon's top 20 list of future HQ sites.

.. the hundreds of applications gave Amazon a hidden benefit: free research that the company can mine when picking spots for future warehouses and satellite offices.

Amazon asked every city and state applying for its second headquarters for details about local resources, like available talent and transit options. Local officials were also prodded for tips on local education programs and tax incentives.

The answers — most of which have not been released publicly — essentially do Amazon’s homework for it, providing valuable information that the company otherwise would have needed to dig up on its own or obtain through one-on-one negotiations.

The application from the Kansas City, Mo., region detailed a program for teaching technical skills to preschoolers through 12th graders, according to a person briefed on the submissions, who would speak only anonymously because the discussions were private. A local coalition that helps military veterans make the transition to civilian jobs, which could help Amazon’s efforts to recruit veterans, also caught the company’s eye.

It found out, too, about Louisville's pool of tech workers and Montreal's push to bring in foreign workers.

Amazon alluded to the upside of the information last week when Holly Sullivan, its head of economic development, said the rejected locations could receive a consolation prize of sorts.

“Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation,” she said in a statement.

... By getting 238 communities to give their best pitch, Amazon has also gotten insight into the kinds of accommodations that places are willing to make to bring it to town.
But .... it's still all there on the Love Little Rock website. Amazon presumably knows how to use Google.



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