As a New York resident, I have a love-hate relationship with Amazon.com. On one hand, it threatens to push out independent stores we love — like bodegas, independent bookstores and electronic stores — every day by offering competitive prices. It’s gotten to the point when even the most pro-small business citizens sometimes give in. On the other hand, Amazon is convenient. As a chronic Amazon shopper, I find myself trapped in this dilemma, and things got even more complicated when, last September, Amazon announced that it was beginning its search for a second home. With all the human resources, infrastructural advantage and established commerce New York City has to offer, the truth is that no other city can top the advantages we’d give to Amazon.
As a city that celebrates cutting-edge technology, New York could easily embrace Amazon’s presence. No other company showcases the expansion and dominance of Internet quite like Amazon. In the past 20 years, the e-commerce giant went from a garage office that sold books, to the monstrously big company today that specializes not just in retail, but also in artificial intelligence, video streaming, cloud computing and parcel delivery. Amazon is clearly excelling as a company, and will bring job opportunities to whichever city it ultimately chooses for its second headquarters. Amazon estimates it will bring in 50,000 jobs and $5 billion of investment to its chosen city, which will presumably help stimulate the local economy. As a city on the rise in the technology sector, Amazon could help cement New York as a leader in the industry while providing jobs and commerce.
“New York City has shown the ability to attract the best talent — a younger generational workforce,” said Jeff Fronek, director of investments for Rubenstein Partners. In fact, no other city on Amazon’s list can boast a population of more than eight million people while hosting some of the best educational institutions in the United States. New York’s public transportation system makes it easy to get around, which is not only advantageous, but also one of several criteria outlined by Amazon. Despite its aging and rising number of problems, New York’s subway is one of the most comprehensive public transportation systems in the U.S., offering Amazon’s staff members more mobility.
Here at NYU, both students and faculty understand the New York advantage full and well. NYU Stern Professor Scott Galloway included Amazon as part of the ultimate quaternity of the tech world — along with Apple, Facebook and Google, in his bestselling book “The Four.” Currently, Google is the only one of the four companies with a significant presence in New York City, with its east coast office hiring about 7,000 people. Should Amazon decide to expand in New York, the results will be symbioti — Amazon would benefit from the rich resources only New York offers, and New York would enjoy another boom in the tech sector to establish itself as a city of multiple successful industries.
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