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Manchester goes all out to get Amazon's HQ2 home

New Hampshire Union Leader

October 16. 2017 10:14PM

MANCHESTER — Manchester officials have pulled out the adjectives and personal stories in pitches to Amazon to snag the online retailer’s second headquarters.

“The city has undergone an incredible transformation in recent years and is now a thriving hub of technology and innovation, the perfect location for Amazon and their employees,” wrote Mike Whitten, executive director of the Manchester Transit Authority.

Airport Director Mark Brewer, in a separate letter to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, said he was confident Amazon and its workers “will discover a very business friendly climate with an unparalleled quality of life.”

States, including New Hampshire, and cities from around the country are working to meet Amazon’s Thursday deadline to submit pitches to land 50,000 new full-time jobs.

“Every state in the country wants to be Amazon’s HQ2 home,” said Matt Cookson, executive director of the New Hampshire High-Tech Council. “A huge component will be workforce, and no one is going to have 50,000 skilled workers immediately available to them. You attract a workforce with low personal taxes and a high quality of life. New Hampshire certainly can put check marks in those critical boxes and doesn’t need to send (Amazon CEO) Jeff Bezos a cactus to show that we should be seriously considered.”

Whitten wrote that he moved 10 years ago to Manchester, where he got married and had a daughter.

“I can’t imagine a better community to start a family in, and I’m certain that Amazon employees will fall in love with this city and the fantastic people living in it,” he said.

Amazon cited several “key preference and decision drivers” that New Hampshire seemingly lacks: an available labor force, mass transit and tax incentives.

Mayor Ted Gatsas called the Millyard “a thriving ecosystem of high-tech companies.”

He cited the Dean Kamen-inspired Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute ramping up in the Millyard. ARMI has about $294 million in government and private investment committed.

Brewer, who leads the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, said airlines have committed to bring in larger planes or add service to handle growing or anticipated future demand.

“We are fortunate to have long-standing and very productive relationships with our airline partners and are confident that we can work with the appropriate carrier to address future service as it relates to Amazon travel,” he wrote.

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