St. Louis Protests Could Cost The City A Chance At Amazon’s Second Headquarters, Thousands Of Jobs

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Recent protests in St. Louis may repel Amazon as it mulls over its metropolitan options for its second headquarter’s location.

The massive tech conglomerate announced earlier in the month that it is opening a second company headquarters somewhere in North America, and will decide based on cities’ abilities to prove their respective worths.

“There is no good timing for something like this and it will have an impact,” said Didi Caldwell, founding principal with Global Location Strategies, which helps companies choose locations for new businesses and expansion, according to a Reuters report published Saturday.

The company says it expects to invest more than $5 billion in construction, while creating up to “50,000 high-paying jobs” just for direct employment.

“Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy – every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional 1.4 dollars for the city’s economy overall,” Amazon wrote, describing its current headquarters. Jeff Bezos says that he expects the new headquarters “to be a full equal” to its one in Seattle. (RELATED: Amazon Founder Temporarily Surpasses Bill Gates As The World’s Richest Man)

So cities are acting as suitors, lining up to make their bids. But civil unrest in St. Louis over the past weeks may be a turnoff for Amazon.

Twenty-three businesses in the Delmar Loop, a thriving business and entertainment area, sustained critical damage during tense protests last week after people took to the streets. The protests were incited by a judge’s decision to rule former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty. Stockley killed a black driver, Anthony Lamar Smith, after a police chase. (RELATED: Here Are 10 Pictures That Capture The St. Louis Protests)

“People were saying, ‘Unless the city cleans up its act, we’ll never get Amazon,'” said Lindenwood University economics professor Howard Wall, reports Reuters.

A number of demonstrators associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement were seen marching with a banner that read “Fuck The Police” around the same time as the other protests. Other protestors, who may or may not have been associated with BLM, surrounded a reporter and hit him with water bottles in an act of apparent intimidation and misdirected anger.

“Sometimes the economics are sort of a wash and it just becomes about where am I more comfortable doing business and living,” Caldwell said.

Amazon did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment by time of publication.

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