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sun-sentinel | Thursday January 18, 2018
Miami region makes Top 20 list for second Amazon headquarters
The Miami region made Amazon’s Top 20 list for a second headquarters location, the e-commerce giant announced Thursday. The South Florida bid, which was submitted in October, included eight sites throughout Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties - and was the only one from Florida to make the top 20, narrowed from 238 sites around the country and Canada. What’s at stake? Fifty-thousand jobs and a $5 billion investment by Amazon in its second headquarters, and all the indirect economic activity — tens of thousands of additional jobs and other investment — that would come with it. “I’m beaming,” said Kelly Smallridge, president of Palm Beach County’s Business Development Board, which recruits new businesses to the county. “This is a true testament that South Florida is a very attractive and competitive business location. Bob Swindell, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, said Amazon’s selection of the region in its Top 20 is a “huge validation” as a prime site for headquarters and technology companies. The region already has many top headquarters companies including AutoNation, Citrix Systems, Ultimate Software, Office Depot, ADT security, Carnival Corp. and Ryder System. While taxes and incentives may play a part in Amazon’s decision, “talent is going to be the biggest driver,” Swindell said. “Recruiting to South Florida is going to be pretty easy.” Seattle-based Amazon has more than 540,000 employees worldwide. Smallridge said South Florida offers a 3 million-person labor force, of which 53 percent are bilingual. She said South Florida also has 375,000 college students. During Amazon’s site visit, which will be part of the headquarters location search process, Swindell said...Read more