- Amazon narrowed its HQ2 search down to just 20 cities.
- This made people in some cities very happy. People in the losing cities, on the other hand, were left wondering what went wrong.
- City officials and local columnists are looking inward after their cities unsuccessfully offered millions of dollars in incentives to Amazon.
A headline from the Charlotte Observer couldn’t have put it any more succinctly: “Amazon’s HQ2 snub leaves Charlotte wondering, ‘What’s wrong with our city?'”
Amazon has plans to invest $5 billion and bring up to 50,000 jobs to the city it chooses for its second headquarters. The e-commerce giant’s call for proposals sent a frenzy down nearly every main street in North America last fall, and in total, 238 proposals from cities, towns, and regions were submitted.
Amazon has now narrowed it down to 20, and a few cities are understandably upset.
Cities that were not selected for Amazon’s HQ2 short list are now turning inward, looking at what they offered Amazon and what they have to offer, period.
Charlotte was passed over in favor of fellow North Carolinian city Raleigh, and the loss has hurt the city’s pride a bit, according to local officials quoted in the Charlotte Observer.
“Columbus, Ohio, is on there and not Charlotte? I might say that’s a little surprising,” Brian Leary, president of local development company Crescent Communities, told the Observer.
Another compared the city to shortlisted Indianapolis.
“When I look at Indianapolis and I look at Charlotte, I would have thought everything we had to offer would at least be equal, if not more,” Fred Smith, professor of economics at Davidson College Fred Smith, told the Observer.