Won’t you be our neighbor ?
Rumors began circulating last week that Amazon was considering backpedaling out of their deal with New York. On Thursday, Feb. 14, the company announced that it was abandoning their plans.
Hours after that announcement, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said that his state was open for business. The following day, Rockland County Executive Ed Day threw his hat into the ring, along with other county officials.
“On behalf of the County of Rockland, the Town of Haverstraw, the Town of Orangetown, the Town of Ramapo and the Village of Suffern we are reaching out to ask that you and your board consider other locations within the State of New York to establish your HQ2," they wrote in a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. "Please do not let the unwelcoming and shortsighted actions of a few in Long Island City tarnish the possibilities that exist elsewhere."
The lawmakers got clever in their letter, making use of Amazon’s popular Prime service. The officials said that they “will be happy to arrange an executive level meeting to review and address all concerns you may have and share with you the potential here in Rockland.”
“We are confident that we can offer all that is needed by Amazon; including airports in adjoining counties, a business-friendly environment and a multitude of transportation and infrastructure options. We previously applied as part of your HQ2 selection process and feel we offer a ‘Prime’ location near New York City but with room for development.”
Following their announcement, Amazon said it is unlikely to search for a new location for its headquarters, and the company instead plans to focus its efforts at its proposed new campus in northern Virginia.
“Rather than addressing the legitimate concerns that have been raised by many New Yorkers Amazon says you do it our way or not at all, we will not even consider the concerns of New Yorkers – that’s not what a responsible business would do,“ Chelsea Connor, the Director of Communications for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said.
This week, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Marc Perrone said, “it is outrageous that Amazon is now essentially threatening New York City taxpayers to pay for its new headquarters or else it will leave town.”
"Multibillion-dollar corporations and billionaires like Jeff Bezos should not be threatening New Yorkers or expect any American taxpayers to foot the bill for opening a new headquarters – whether it's in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, or anywhere else.
“Why should we subsidize the creation of 25,000 Amazon jobs when Amazon’s entire business model seeks to eliminate millions of retail jobs," he said. "The last thing we, as taxpayers, should ever be asked to pay for is the destruction of our own jobs."
Rockland County, the Town of Ramapo and the Village of Suffern made an application to place Amazon’s HQ2 on the former Novartis campus which sits on Old Mill Road and Route 59 in Suffern and Hemion Road in Montebello.
“Unlike Long Island City, Rockland County is open for business," Day said. "We are confident that we can offer all that is needed by Amazon; including airports in adjoining counties and a business-friendly environment.
"We will be happy to arrange an executive level meeting to review any and all concerns they may have and share with them the potential that exists here in Rockland. Don’t let the unwelcoming and shortsighted actions of a few tarnish the great possibilities that exist elsewhere in New York.”
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