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A Prime Location for Amazon

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Photo By: Ethan McElvaney

Photo By: Ethan McElvaney

Photo By: Ethan McElvaney

Ethan McElvaney

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Amazon could be coming to Raleigh, North Carolina as it has recently been listed as a city that is one of  20 finalists to compete for the Atlantic Coast home of the giant online retail store’s second headquarters.

The contest was first announced stating that whichever city is chosen sometime at the end of the year could enjoy over 50,000 new jobs and a massive new complex that would be a full-scale headquarters with the possibility of being a catalyst for permanent changes in the area.

According to CNBC,  many of the factors that Amazon looks for in a second headquarters location includes diversity, proximity to great technology colleges, and tax incentives. However, cities have made many outlandish proposals with Stonecrest, Georgia as an example, going as far as to vow to name an entire town after the company and make CEO Jeff Bezos the permanent mayor, if chosen.

Even with the enthusiasm of competing states and cities, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper stated in an interview with WRAL that while the state will not be giving a colossal amount of tax incentives to Amazon, that the benefits of the new headquarters being located in Raleigh would be a great investment for the company.

“I know our incentives won’t be the greatest compared to other states, but it will be competitive and if we’re competitive, then we can sell what we have,” said Governor Cooper.

The News and Observer is also fairly optimistic about how convincing Raleigh’s advantages as one of the candidates are, citing a report from the Milken Institute mentioning that out of all the cities on Amazon’s wish list, that Raleigh has the best overall economy with being the second highest-performing large city after Provo-Orem, Utah.

William Peace University students, on the other hand, have mixed feelings about the whole affair. Peace freshman Jenni Meyers was excited yet had reservations about how Amazon’s new base could affect local businesses and those who run them.

“I think [having Amazon headquarters here] would be an awesome thing. I have an aunt who shops on there all the time… I support small businesses because I have a family that has small businesses, so while this is great, it worries us whenever larger businesses move in,” says Meyers.

Christian Ortiz, a senior at WPU really likes the possibility of the headquarters being in Raleigh.

“I think it’d be pretty good. I like Amazon. That might help more on the domestic side of things, like people getting jobs or easier domestic imports,” said Ortiz.

People like Ortiz and Meyers who are fans of Amazon are constantly becoming more common, as Amazon’s already massive earnings have managed to rise 38% to the tune of $60.5 billion in the fourth economic quarter of 2017, according to Business Wire.

Peace adjunct business Professor Ferreri believes that the impact of Amazon having a Raleigh headquarters would depend on what kinds of careers it would bring into the city.

“It’s a mixed-bag type of effect,” said Ferreri. “Obviously if they have a second headquarters here, it will create new jobs at that facility. If it were a distribution center in addition to an administrative center then you could have a negative impact on some local businesses.”

With many state governments offering to subsidize Amazon’s second headquarters to get it in their state, Ferreri says that what the NC Government does to make Amazon more invested in its capital city could sway them, but not as much as others would think.

“Will [subsidies or lowered property taxes for Amazon] pay off? Sometimes yes, sometimes no because clearly, Amazon is out there saying ‘this will be the greatest thing since people landed in North Carolina and is that accurate? Probably not because they’re guessing as much as anybody else is.”

Both members of the Raleigh community and Peace students might have many opportunities to look forward to if Amazon comes to the city.

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A Prime Location for Amazon