Amazon: No Way New York
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Amazon: No Way New York

Earlier this year, Amazon announced that it would build (one of) its second headquarters in New York, bringing as many as 40,000 jobs to the area, which would have had an average salary (the company promised) of $150,000. Last week, that plan changed. The ecommerce titan, apparently swayed by protests from New Yorkers themselves as well as some of their politicians, has announced that it is pulling out of its New York expansion.

Amazon’s share price has appreciated by 9% so far this year

19 02 amazongraph

Source: Yahoo Finance

Amazon spokeswoman Jodi Seth said: “after much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens.” The news was greeted by some activists, including media-friendly millennial politician, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Cortez, often referred to by the press as simple “AOC” identifies as a democratic socialist, and had objected to the granting of $3 billion in government subsidies that would accompany Amazon’s presence in New York. On Twitter, she wrote: “anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbours defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.”

Not everyone agrees with her. Julie Samuels, executive director at Tech: NYC, described the change of heart as a major loss for the city. She told reporters: “Amazon’s decision to withdraw from New York is no doubt a blow to our local economy. New York City is today one of the most dynamic tech hubs in the world, but there is no guarantee we will maintain this status in the future, which makes this news so disappointing.”

Mark Hamrick, a Bankrate analyst, described it as a “stunning development” and noted that “vocal critics” who didn’t want “new jobs and economic vitality” should “be careful what [they] wish for.” Many Twitter users who responded to AOC echoed his sentiments.

Amazon has said they will move ahead with other developments elsewhere but will not look to replace the prospective New York campus. However, as last year proved, if they change their minds, they’ll have no shortage of places willing to welcome them with open arms.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Amazon in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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