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Update on Sault's Amazon headquarters bid

It's on its way to Seattle. And no, they didn't put it in an Amazon shipping box
A freshly printed copy of the city's 23-page proposal is on its way to the e-shopping giant

It's 23 pages long, with another 15 or 20 pages of supporting letters.

It's on its way to Seattle, well in advance of the Thursday deadline.

Wise heads have prevailed and it's not in an Amazon shipping box.

The City of Sault Ste. Marie's bid for Amazon's second headquarters was submitted to the retail giant this afternoon, both electronically and by overnight courier.

Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Shoemaker, who chaired the city's Amazon bid committee, says the full 12-person committee wasn't convened today to approve the final document because Ward 2 Councillor Susan Myers was out of town.   

Instead, Shoemaker got Chief Administrative Officer Al Horsman and the Economic Development Corp.'s Dan Hollingsworth and Nevin Buconjic together to sign off on the draft.

Speaking this afternoon to SooToday, Shoemaker wouldn't disclose which of five local properties made it into the Amazon bid.

"That's the only thing I can't really share," he said.

"But the rest of it, I'm hoping will be put out to the public... sometime next week or the week after."

Earlier this month, Shoemaker was proposing that it might be nice to ship the Sault's proposal in an Amazon shipping carton.

But today, he indicated that won't happen.

"A couple members of the EDC thought it was better just to send it professionally in a courier package."

“I want to commend City Council for its ambition and the committee for its very good work in completing and submitting a compelling bid,” Mayor Provenzano said in a written statement.

“This bid demonstrates our strengths as a community and our commitment to working with companies of all sizes to develop, grow and succeed in Sault Ste. Marie.”

If the Sault's long-shot application is successful, Amazon would build a $5 billion second North American headquarters employing as many as 50,000 jobs.

“I am proud of our community and the support we have received for this initiative," Shoemaker said today. "We have submitted an incredible package that highlights our strengths, is honest about our weaknesses, but that, through it all, promotes the Twin Saults as an ideal location for Amazon.

A city news release this afternoon disclosed that the Sault's bid contains:

  • a robust description of the benefits that the Twin Saults provide businesses such as the competitive advantage of locating in two countries, while providing a natural balance of family, environment, growth and innovation
  • identification of potential sites for the new headquarters
  • a strong outline of the Twin Saults' talent, skills and workforce
  • letters of support from various community leaders and organizations

“We are pleased to have developed and submitted a solid proposal at a minimal cost,” Horsman.

"This has been a good exercise in compiling our many strengths as a community. I thank all those involved including council, Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corp., the Innovation Centre and city staff who worked to put an excellent bid together in such a short time frame.”

Amazon is expected to announce the winning bid sometime next year.

David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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