Online retailer Amazon cancelled plans for its’ second headquarters in Long Island, New York on Feb. 14. The company announced that it would be building a second headquarters in one United States city in 2018, and several major cities could bid for a chance to have the headquarters built there. The company laid out details about the plans for the headquarters, including that it would cost three billion dollars to build. The company also announced that the headquarters would bring in 25,000 jobs to the city it is in. In January, Amazon officially announced that the headquarters would be built in Long Island, New York. Other places such as Dallas, Virginia and Miami were finalists for the location, as well. As soon as Amazon released the news about building in NY, many citizens were furious.
The news was released right after information was leaked about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos cheating on his wife. New Yorkers declared that they weren’t prepared for a year of endless construction in the heart of their city, and that everything they had to sacrifice wasn’t worth it on their end. New York Senator Michael Gianaris said, “It is unfathomable that we would sign a $3 billion check to Amazon in the face of these challenges,” when speaking about New York’s financial state. Amazon had been receiving tax breaks from New York using loopholes in the law, according to Fortune magazine.
Once news broke of Amazon’s tax situation, state representatives forced the company to move out. When Amazon revealed their plans, New York mayor Bill de Blasio announced his support for Amazon and his excitement for the future of the company in New York. Many New Yorkers still did not support Amazon’s plans, and launched online petitions and protests. The petition had over 50,000 signatures.
When the company issued the statement that cancelled the building of the headquarters, there was immediate negative response from people across the nation. Amazon released an online statement which said, “We’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens.” The main reason that Amazon cancelled their plans was because “local and state politicians have made it clear that” they oppose Amazon’s presence in New York. Amazon shoppers announced that they would be boycotting Amazon and would not continue to order from their website. De Blasio responded that he was furious that Amazon cancelled their plans and that it was unacceptable to take back a promise of providing 25,000 jobs for the citizens of New York.
This situation prompted responses from celebrities and politicians, some in favor of Amazon and some who opposed the HQ2 (new headquarters) . Some sided with Amazon, while many expressed disappointment and hopelessness for the loss of jobs and economic boom in the area. California Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted that Amazon is “holding our democracy hostage.” Since they withdrew their plans, Amazon has not released any statements regarding the future of a new headquarters, but it is likely that they may build one in another city in the next few years according to their news conferences.