Over the past few weeks, it felt like everyone and their mother was making a play for Amazon’s second corporate headquarters. But an update the company released today shows a few conspicuous abstentions.
Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Arkansas, Vermont, and Hawaii decided not to participate in the Amazon HQ2 mania that has swept the continent since the company announced it was accepting proposals for a second “fully equal” headquarters in North America.
It’s not clear why communities in those states chose to not to participate in the competition. It’s possible that anti-corporate sentiment played a role or they could have been off-put by the company’s preference for government incentives. Arkansas’ abstention is likely tied to a chief Amazon rival headquartered in Bentonville: Walmart.
Amazon says 238 metro areas across 54 states, provinces, districts, and territories responded to the request for proposals the company released in early September. The fact that its easier to list parts of the country that didn’t respond shows the magnitude of this unprecedented headquarters competition.
Still, it’s no surprise that cities (almost) everywhere are vying for HQ2. The prize awarded to the winner will be 50,000 jobs and a $5 billion investment in the community, Amazon says. Amazon will take the rest of the year to review the proposals and announce the winner sometime in 2018. The company plans to break ground on HQ2 in 2019.