Spokane business leaders prepare Amazon bid

A local business group wants Amazon to look to east when trying to find a location for their second headquarters.

SPOKANE, Wash.  -- A local business group wants Amazon to look to the east when trying to find a location for their second headquarters.

Greater Spokane Incorporated is trying to sell the retail giant on coming to Spokane. Amazon plans to invest $5 billion into its new headquarters and create as many as 50,000 high paying new jobs. That is why Greater Spokane Incorporated is working on a pitch to get Amazon to consider Spokane.

Todd Mielke, CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated, said the area has a lot to offer they just need the chance to show it off.

"The talent is already moving here, they are coming and they like what they see,” said Mielke.

According to their proposal request, Amazon is looking for a metropolitan area with more than one million people, a stable and friendly business environment and a place with urban and suburban locations that would attract those in technical fields.

Patrick Jones, Executive Director of Public Policy and Economics at Eastern Washington University said it is a long shot. Jones said if you include Spokane County and its surrounding counties we would fall only about a quarter of a million short of one million people.

"We're not as small as we might think, but I would say that is still an issue,” said Jones.

Other potential drawbacks he notes are the lack of diversity compared to other cities, an airport with more international flights and mass transit system. But the region does have desirable characteristics for Amazon. 

Jones said the region has talented and educated people thanks to surrounding universities

"We've got a successful retail base. We've got successful e-commerce companies here, and we do have at our universities quite a production of engineers and computer scientists,” said Jones. "Very business friendly environment."

He also said the land is cheaper and the cost of living is lower.

"I think we're in the game by many of these criteria,” said Jones.

Miekle said they are working on the proposal. It is due between October 16 and 19.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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