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Puppies and VIP lounges and public funding: Welcome to Amazon

Paul Brislen, Editor. 21 November 2018, 7:29 am

Giant US online retailer Amazon has been selecting a new location for its secondary headquarters and a distribution centre. While the company eventually settled on three locations (New York, Nashville and Virginia) news is starting to emerge of the breathtaking lengths various US cities went to in order to secure the company's graces.

Along with location and access to staff and resources, tax breaks are the traditional model used to lure corporate ventures to town. While Amazon will receive an eye-watering US$3.5 billion (yes, billion) in subsidies from the three cities it chose, others offered even more. According to The Guardian newspaper, New Jersey offered up US$7 billion, while Maryland went all in with US$8.5 billion in subsidies.

But wait, there's more.

Atlanta is one of the US airport network's major hubs and so the city offered 50 free car parking spaces and an Amazon-only premiere lounge as part of its bid. It even discussed the option of adding an Amazon-only car to its light rail network, and the renaming of several streets in honour of the honour of having Amazon in its city.

However, the prize must surely go to Dallas for offering the company free puppies. No, really.

All this to attract a company worth roughly US$800 billion and which has legendary problems in the human resources department. But the prize must have seemed worth it - a US$5 billion project that would attract around 25,000 new jobs - even the most hardy local politician would have seen the dollar signs at work.


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