It’s like the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," except Amazon is handing out just one Golden Ticket: What city will be their second headquarters?
It’s easy to see why Northeast Ohio is salivating at the prospect – we’ve lost more than 117,000 paid positions since the year 2000.
Now here’s a chance to get 50,000 well paying jobs back.
Communities from coast to coast and Canada are all going head to head in the winner-take-all sweepstakes, and everyone has a take.
A recent New York Times story picked Denver as the favorite, meanwhile a gambling website has Atlanta as the town to beat.
So, is Cleveland a legitimate contender or are we a pretender?
We’ve got a lot going for us: affordable housing, culture and an underdeveloped lakefront that is there for the taking.
But how do we stack up against the Atlantas, Denvers, Austins and New Yorks that have deeper tech worker pools, and airports that fulfill the international flight requirements Amazon wants?
Hard to answer those questions when we don’t have a clue what’s in our bid.
At this point, no one’s talking.
Not the Mayor. Not the County Administrator. Not the Greater Cleveland Partnership, who all argue that sharing our plan for Amazon publicly would put Cleveland at a competitive disadvantage.
That could be true, and let’s give credit where credit is due: Cleveland got the 2016 Republican Convention when no one had them as the favorite, so maybe their recipe for success is a pretty good one.
On the other hand, if we’re promising massive tax breaks and other incentives, the public should probably be aware of those things before they move from idea to reality.
A look at our proposal might also give us an idea of just how serious of a candidate our leadership really thinks we are.
If you can’t show us the whole proposal, I get that, but please release some major bullet points so all of us know what Cleveland’s plan to woo new business looks like.
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