Masks worn outside the Amazon spheres downtown Seattle. (Getty Images)
After endless attacks by Seattle City Council, e-commerce giant Amazon seems to be releasing feelings of further expansion outside Seattle. This could have economic implications for the city.
In a daily poll of Puget Sound employees, Amazon asked their employees where they would work the most, other than Bellevue and Seattle. Options offered were Bothell / Woodinville, Renton, Tacoma, Redmond and Issaquah. Amazon has confirmed the poll, whose photos appeared on social media and Reddit, are authentic.
Amazon has already expanded to Bellevue. They may be ready to make some further moves.
Amazon trail retreat in Seattle
Behind the scenes, I have said that Amazon is tired of Seattle City Council attitudes towards the company. The company is not only to blame for the city’s problems – from affordable housing to traffic – but its CEO, Jeff Bezos, is often used as a poster child for dangerous anti-capitalist attacks at the hands of socialist zeal Kshama Sawant.
And, of course, there is legislation designed to specifically target Amazon and similar businesses.
Recently, the Council passed another tax against the business, this tax of the work of Councilors Theresa Mosqueda, dubiously titled JumpStart Seattle.
Amazon, and other eligible businesses, will have taxes of 1.4% for each employee making over $ 150,000, and 2.4% for employees making over $ 400,000. After it passed, experts noted that it would push Amazon to lay down the city.
“I think there is no doubt that we will hear some announcements over the next two weeks of a massive expansion from Amazon to Bellevue,” Windermere Economist Matthew Gardner told KIRO Radio at the time. “Indeed, it will become one of those badly kept secrets.”
An Amazon spokesman would not comment on the report.
How Bellevue tricked Amazon over into Eastside
‘I would eventually leave
An Amazon employee, speaking on the Jason Rantz Show at KTTH on condition of anonymity, did not blame the company for considering a move or expansion elsewhere.
“Amazon seems to be evaluating its options to leave Seattle if necessary,” the employee explained. “I think it ‘s clear to anyone living in Seattle that our local officials know only how to blame others for the problems our city’s public policy has created. Amazon’ s success, despite the failures of the Seattle city government, make Amazon an easy target when looking for someone to blame. “
The employee said if they were the sole decision-maker, “I would eventually minimize my trail in Seattle.”
Coronavirus changes business
Amazon routinely surveys employees as they plan their long-term growth inside and outside the region. But during the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon, like many other companies, has seen success with a work from home model.
Retailer REI recently decided to divest their future Bellevue-based headquarters for a hybrid approach to smaller satellite offices and remote work opportunities.
The data they gather from this survey, along with what they have learned from the remote model they have adopted, may make them less reliable in Seattle-based operations. This would allow their workforce to live in more affordable cities, not deceived by homelessness, addiction and lawless activists.
Amazon’s departure could hurt Seattle’s economy
It is unclear whether Amazon would completely pull Seattle to a neighboring city. Alsoshtë also impossible in the short term. But any reduction in Amazon’s footprint could further devastate Seattle’s economy. And it is important to note that this survey went to employees in the area, including those in Seattle. That is, those working in Seattle who say they want to leave Seattle are playing a crucial role in the future of the Amazon trail in Emerald City.
Revenue forecasts for the city took another major hit – $ 26 million – thanks to the coronavirus. Businesses supported exclusively by Amazon employees have struggled. Some are already closed forever. If Amazon allows their Seattle employees to work from home longer than expected, which reduces the maintenance and upkeep costs of their offices, the economic impacts will be felt. And, if they were to close the offices, it would be devastating.
Meanwhile, cities like those mentioned in the Amazon poll will see significant economic benefits at a time when they would need more. Bellevue has gained Amazon attention – and expansion – for being business-friendly and less driven by ideological rigidity.
Rantz: Coronavirus scares the predicted impacts if Amazon leaves Seattle
Listen to the afternoon of the week on the Jason Rantz Show afternoon from 3-6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Sign up for it podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter and Instagram or like me on Facebook.