CNBC has just released a new report that ranks Charlotte the #1 city in America (tied with Raleigh and Greensboro) to win “the war for Amazon’s new headquarters”.
The new headquarters, nicknamed ‘HQ2’, will cost at least $5 billion to build and is expected to create as many as 50,000 new full-time jobs with an average annual salary of $100,000 per employee.
The new report uses conclusions from CNBC’s 2017 America’s Top States for Business study and data from the US Census Bureau to grade the top contenders for Amazon’s coveted second headquarters location. The grades were based on the Amazon’s four main site selection criteria: A metropolitan area with more than 1 million people; a stable, business-friendly environment, ability to attract and retain strong talent, and creative thinking when considering locations.
Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro all tied for a ‘B’ grade – the highest grade of the report.
“The three largest metropolitan areas in the Tar Heel State, each submitting bids, benefit from a state with one of the best workforces in the country and a heritage of innovation dating back to the Wright Brothers.
Counting against the state is a lack of mass transportation and a nagging lack of inclusiveness. North Carolina repealed the most controversial parts of its so-called bathroom bill, but it still lacks statewide protections against discrimination and expressly bars them at the local level. North Carolina finished No. 5 in this year’s Top States rankings.”
The report also gave ‘B-‘ grades to a number of other solid contenders, including Nashville, Austin, Atlanta, and Seattle, all with strong workforces, reasonably good economies and business-friendly regulations.
Amazon received a total of 238 official proposals from 54 states, providences, territories, and districts in North America, according to Amazon’s official HQ2 page. They are expected to release a list of their top contender cities 9 days from now.
Most experts think the determining factor for Amazon will come down to the tax incentives offered by each city and state. Some even think that Amazon’s new HQ2 will end up paying little to no local or state taxes for decades.
What are your thoughts about Amazon’s HQ2 coming to Charlotte?
Do you think their benefits would outweigh the tax breaks we would likely have to give?