Photo: Mike Seyfang (Flickr)
Dozens of cities around the country tossed their hats in the ring to compete for Amazon’s next headquarters location.
Four Hoosier communities have filed official bids for what Amazon is calling ‘HQ2:’ Indianapolis and Fishers in a joint bid, Gary, Hammond and Northwest Indiana. Louisville, Kentucky is also vying for the job. Amazon says they expect to invest $5 billion in construction and create roughly 50,000 high-paying jobs.
U.S. Senators Todd Young and Joe Donnelly sent a letter to Amazon this week urging the tech giant to strongly consider Indiana for the coming expansion.
According to Amazon’s website, there are 238 proposals across 54 states, provinces, districts and territories in North America.
This week on Noon Edition, our panelists discussed what a new Amazon headquarters could do for the state of Indiana.
Mo Merhoff is the board president of OneZone, the combined chambers of commerce for Fishers and Carmel.
Mo says it was important for Central Indiana to bid with a regional approach in order to compete with other cities casting a wider net of economic development.
“Let’s not just say we’re one community going after this opportunity. Let’s look it as a region,” Merhoff says.
To the north, Gary, Hammond and the Northwest Indiana region placed their bids to attract the attention of the mega-online retailer.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says the working on the proposal as region was a great lesson in collaboration to attract other businesses.
“This was a great opportunity to think through that and to continue those collaborations beyond Amazon,” Freeman-Wilson says.
Lynn Coyne is president of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation. Though Bloomington did not place a bid, Coyne says the bidding process has been useful for communities of smaller scale trying to attract businesses.
“It’s created this thinking and thought process for those of us in the smaller regions,” Coyne says. “We worry about the very same things. What’s your labor force? What’s your quality of life?”
Kyle Anderson is an associate professor in the Kelley School of Business and specializes in e-commerce and industrial organization.
Anderson says he’s interested in how Amazon has made the process so public, but warns that Amazon needs to consider its impact on the community it chooses.
“It’s incumbent upon Amazon to behave fairly in this process and not just extract as much out of it as they can,” Anderson says. “Because when you have 238 entities, or regions, areas bidding for a single company, Amazon has huge power in this process.”
Kyle Anderson: Clinical Assistant Professor of Business Economics, Kelley School of Business
Lynn Coyne: President of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation
Mo Merhoff: President of OneZone, Fishers, IN
Karen Freeman-Wilson: Mayor of Gary, IN
Noon Edition airs Friday at 12:06 p.m. on WFIU 1