Northern VA Anticipates Hurricane Florence and Amazon

My inbox was filled with Hurricane Florence updates. I live in Virginia and every news story seems to be about preparing for its arrival except one. Forgive me if I would like to forget for a moment that there's a Cat 4 hurricane that has already caused local schools to cancel on Friday, my children to ask me if we'll all be safe, my grocery story to become a madhouse, and talk for a moment about a different topic: Amazon.

jomar-578856-unsplashFor those of you who are not aware, Northern Virginia is on the short list for Amazon's new headquarters. Speculation is that it will be us or Atlanta, but all signs point to us.  The buzz has prompted area startups to grow concerned about how this type of move will affect their business. As Business Insider points out, the move will cause rental space to become even more expensive in an area with already sky high real estate prices. While some things may become cheaper, the cost of doing business will increase with this move.  There are those who still see it as a net positive because they are hoping to get a piece of the subcontract work that Amazon will bring their way, as well as, service-based companies growing new areas of business.

My county was on the Top 50 list and I often wonder how it would have changed our lives. Would it be for the better? Would it change the landscape of this county so much that it wouldn't be recognizable? Regardless of who gets the Amazon HQ2, it will have an enormous impact on the lives of all those who live there.

Currently, StageXchange is in the process of creating a new site selection process that will reduce the level of effort on both businesses and EDOs in the decision-making process. We act as a 3rd party verification tool that can help businesses find the right location for their business model and the type of business intelligence that lets them sleep well at night after making the decision. It's been a wild ride working on this EDO project for me and I have learned so much about what EDOs do, need, and want, as well as, what factors are important to business. I look forward to the conclusion of Amazon's search and what lessons we can all learn from it.

While I may have joked a bit about the hurricane, it's a very real thing that is causing not just myself but millions of others to worry and pray. I read that the Carolinas are going to take the blow for us and my prayers go out to all of them at this time.

Godspeed to you all.

Amazon, economic development, business, FDI, Investor

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