OPINION: Cornwall should be the home of Amazon

OPINION: Cornwall should be the home of Amazon
stacks of Amazon.com boxes with merchandise for shipment

Last week, multi-national corporation Amazon announced their intention to build a new headquarters in North America and they opened up a competition inviting any city on the continent to submit their bid and explain why their town should be the site of their new HQ.

Amazon estimates that their new headquarters would be an investment of $5 billion in construction alone and will bring 50, 000 high paying jobs to whichever town wins them over.

Amazon currently has an HQ in Seattle, Washington, and they estimate that their presence in that city has generated $38 billion for the local economy.
The City of Cornwall should absolutely submit their bid to be the home of Amazon’s next headquarters.

Amazon is restricting the applicants to metropolitan areas with a population of at least 1 million people, but with Cornwall’s relatively short commute to Montreal and Ottawa, I think we should still be able to qualify.

Is it likely that Cornwall would come out on top in such a bidding process that is likely to include cities like Montreal, Toronto, New York and Boston, just to name a few? No, but that isn’t what’s important.

Cornwall should still submit their own bid and it should be one of the best bids that this City has ever produced. We should act like we are a major contender to win this or we never will be.

For Cornwall, this opportunity isn’t about winning a new Amazon headquarters, it is about the statement that a small town, with an industrial history would make by demanding that we be considered as equals to the other cities I mentioned in this competition.

This can be the story of how a manufacturing town set itself on a path to become a pioneer in a new industry and how Cornwall went from a factory hub to a tech hub.

The digital economy is the economy of not the future, but of now and the City should use this opportunity presented by Amazon as a chance to make a bold statement about Cornwall’s eagerness to join that economy.

The city has nothing to lose by submitting a bid and could gain the chance to be noticed and considered by any number of tech giants as a place to invest.

Right now, members of the manufacturing and service industries are worried about being replaced by machines, and they are and many more will be. The people who won’t be replaced by machines anytime soon however, are the people who are designing and programming them and Cornwall needs to show that we are interested in becoming a major player in that industry.

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