Amazon's (AMZN) short list of cities that could be home to its second headquarters leaves more than 200 municipalities disappointed.
Yet for some of the cities knocked out of the running for Amazon's second headquarters, the effort may turn out to be a trial run for other opportunities.
Several leaders whose proposals didn't make the final 20 say the time spent putting together juicy tax incentives, massive chunks of land and infrastructure studies was not wasted. Delaware Gov. John Carney said his state used the opportunity to showcase's Delaware options "for any business looking for a location to set down roots and grow."
Seattle-based Amazon has made it clear it was looking for tax incentives on its $5 billion project. But an economist cautioned cities about offering other companies the same incentives they were prepared to offer Amazon.
At the same time, winning the much-hyped contest may not all that it's cracked up to be. According to Good Jobs First, a nonprofit that's critical of tax incentives offered to corporations, the H2Q might deliver higher taxes for nearby business and individuals as a way to offset the incentives.
State and local governments will be faced with higher costs for services such as police and schools to accommodate the additional Amazon employees, the group added.
Here are statements from some of the places that didn't make the tech giant's cut to 20 contenders:
"We would have loved to have made it into the next round for Amazon's second headquarters but everyone here is incredibly proud of the proposal we submitted," Mayor Mike Duggan said. "It showed a clear vision for the future of our city and brought out the very best of our city and our region."
"We came together and gave it our best shot," Mayor Jim Strickland said. "The good news is that this exercise showed us new ways to showcase our city that we are already using to attract other businesses."
"Memphis has momentum and other companies have seen and will continue to see our value"
The city offered Amazon $60 million in cash incentives.
KANSAS CITY, Missouri
"I can understand that some Kansas Citians may be disappointed, but it's important to remember that as a result of this very collaborative effort, more people today know more great things about Kansas City than they ever did before," said Mayor Sly James. "Kansas City will continue to develop transformational projects and partnerships that continue the momentum you feel in every block and every neighborhood of this great city. We truly are a city on the rise, and I look forward to our exciting future."
Delaware's Gov. John Carney and the state's congressional delegation said they were "of course" disappointed not to be chosen.
"But we used this opportunity to showcase all the options in Delaware not just for Amazon, but for any business looking for a location to set down roots and grow," they said. "In that respect, Delaware's effort — which brought together leaders in the public and private sectors to promote our great state — was a resounding success. Going forward, we'll do everything we can to support Philadelphia's application, to help bring Amazon to our region."
"New Hampshire's groundbreaking proposal to recruit Amazon was the most comprehensive business marketing plan our state has ever produced," Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement. "While we always knew that our bid was considered a long shot, we are excited that it is already serving as a template for other businesses that now have New Hampshire on their radar. Our commitment to economic and workforce development is already yielding results. We will never stop emphasizing that New Hampshire is open for business, open for workers, and open for opportunity."
New Hampshire's Amazon proposal was centered in Londonderry and emphasized the state's lack of a sales or income tax.
"While disappointed San Diego/Chula Vista did not advance, we are not at all surprised," said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. "We knew that this would be a long shot based on geography and incentive options, but we also know that as a region, San Diego can most definitely compete with others in terms of talent, entrepreneurship, innovation and quality of life."
The two bids submitted by cities in the San Francisco Bay Area were both rejected by Amazon. Bay Area Council President Jim Wunderman said the decision was disappointing. "We're not completely surprised by Amazon's decision," he said. "The Bay Area is one of the most innovative regions in the world and the huge economic expansion we have witnessed here over the past 10 years has created significant challenges in the form of high housing costs, high cost of living and growing traffic. We are working hard to address these challenges, but we suspect they factored heavily in Amazon's decision to look elsewhere."
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA
"We're disappointed the City of Virginia Beach was not listed among the top 20 finalists for this project. However, we're excited the Commonwealth of Virginia is still under consideration," Virginia Beach Mayor William Sessoms Jr. said. "A project of this magnitude will create many opportunities, and, if Virginia is selected, we expect Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads will benefit."