Computer insider Show #2018-19

Today on Computer Insider, the background on Amazon’s search for a location to open its second headquarters. Late last week the world’s largest online retailer announced the final 20 selections for its HQ2. Amazon whittled down the list of proposals submitted by 238 communities.

The carrot is that whichever city is selected will get a huge injection of new investment and jobs from Amazon, plus the notoriety of housing one of the world’s leading tech companies. All those benefits are why so many cities pulled together lavish proposals to woo Amazon. For instance, Newark, NJ — one of the 20 finalists — is offering $7 billion US in incentives. Chicago, another finalist, is offering $2 billion.

There are a few concerns, like that Amazon’s new headquarters will push up housing costs, increase congestion and change the character of its new host city.  Seattle, Amazon’s original home, has also worried that the company will invest less there in future years.

Last week a list of 20 finalist cities was announced, and the only one outside of the US was Toronto. Good for us I think. Lots of jobs, lots of construction and lots of taxes for all, maybe. The question really is, what did we offer to Amazon to make the list? Even though we’re not in Toronto, you can bet that any tax incentives, discounted utilities, deferments, whatever are going to be shared with both the province and the feds. In other words, you and I are going to be on the hook.