The smartest insight and analysis, from all perspectives, rounded up from around the web:
Tucson sent a 21-foot cactus to Jeff Bezos. Birmingham, Alabama, installed giant delivery boxes around town. And Stonecrest, Georgia, offered to rename itself Amazon. When you’re gunning to be the home of Amazon’s second headquarters, you “need something to set yourself apart,” said Nathan Bomey at USA Today. After the e-commerce giant announced in September that it was hunting for the perfect “Amazon HQ2” location, promising to invest $5 billion and create 50,000 high-paying jobs, 238 cities and towns eagerly threw their hats into the ring, with the application period ending last week. Some launched “downright wacky” stunts, while others dangled more traditional sweeteners, like the $7 billion in tax breaks offered up by Newark, New Jersey. If there are early front-runners for this “civic beauty pageant,” Amazon isn’t saying, said Matt Day at Seattle Times. But based on the company’s lengthy wish list — a population of at least 1 million, good mass transit, a well-educated labour force — analysts “have some guesses.” Moody’s Analytics crunched the numbers and named Austin, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Rochester, New York, as “best positioned” to win.