Millions in incentives approved for FedEx unit’s downtown move

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FedEx Logistics will receive more than $30 million in PILOTs and grants to move it headquarters downtown after two votes Thursday.

The Memphis company says it’s making nearly a $48 million investment, providing more jobs and providing millions in tax revenue as well as the company remodels the former Gibson guitar factory and moves employees downtown from their East Memphis offices.

Thursday, the Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corporation approved a PILOT agreement, and the Memphis Center City Development Corporation signed off on a $1 million grant.

Wreg.com

Amazon And GE Cutbacks Are A Lesson For Cities Offering Big Incentives

Two of the world’s biggest companies have cut back on major promises this week — Amazon and GE. It’s a tale of tax incentives and two corporate headquarters.

Amazon bailed on New York City after fierce local opposition to the nearly $3 billion in tax incentives it was offered to bring its second headquarters there.

General Electric has scaled back its plans for a Boston headquarters and will pay back the state the $87 million it got in incentives to bring the company to Boston.

Local business leaders and officials say GE and Amazon offer important lessons for Boston.

“What a wild back-to-back with two of the largest company in the world. Amazing,” said Jeff Bussgang, a general partner at Flybridge Capital, shortly after the two companies announced the changes Thursday.

Wbur.org

Opinion: Taxpayers are right to question incentives for economic development — and not just for Amazon

New York offered Amazon close to $3 billion to build a “second” headquarters in Long Island City on the promise of 25,000 jobs.

Since the deal was joyfully announced in November, however, many local residents and some politicians in the area have been questioning whether it’s worth it, both in terms of the price tag and the impact on housing and traffic congestion. And on Feb. 14, AmazonAMZN, +0.39%   backed out of the deal, citing political opposition to its plans.

The researchsupports those who question the wisdom of cities and states incentivizing economic development. Studies suggest the jobs and economic gains are usually not worth the tax breaks since the majority of companies would have come even without incentives.

And that’s when the companies try to live up to the promises they made. They don’t always do so, with the latest example being Foxconn’s announcement that it is reconsidering plans to build a factory in Wisconsin — less than a year after agreeing to create up to 13,000 high-tech jobs in exchange for more than $4.5 billion in incentives.

But how often do companies that agree to build factories and create jobs in exchange for economic incentives back away from their promises? And when they do, do taxpayers ever learn about it?

Marketwatch.com

Austin Might Get a Bit of HQ2 After All

Amazon announced it is backing out of its plan to build half of its much-hyped second headquarters in New York City.

While that’s likely causing headaches for real estate investors and economic development officials out east, several other cities are poised to absorb the 25K jobs that the e-commerce giant had projected to create in New York.

We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time,” Amazon wrote in a blog post. “We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada.

It’s not immediately clear how many of the projected 25K HQ2 jobs might be distributed to Amazon’s Austin offices. And that job creation is slated to happen over the course of roughly 15 years.

AmericanInno.com

Jeff Bezos’ gut failed him. His will didn’t.

Jeff Bezos’ gut failed him in Amazon’s aborted New York expedition. But make no mistake—he has guts.

In the months leading up to the decision on where to locate Amazon’s HQ2, Bezos would make the decision with intuition. “All of my best decisions in business and in life have been made with heart, intuition, guts . . . not analysis,” he said before his life became tabloid fodder.

When he chose New York and Washington, D.C., as the second (and third) homes where Amazon would add as many as 50,000 jobs in the next 10 to 15 years, the decision confirmed what many people had expected. It was a puzzler to me. I thought Bezos made the safe choice, opting for the two largest pools of tech talent outside San Francisco that also are the most expensive and competitive, to say nothing of the structural challenges involved.

The decision was decidedly un-Jeff Bezos and more like LeBron James, with the same disastrous optics. Those picks could have been made without a year-long beauty contest that Amazon constantly billed as a data-driven effort to find the best option but which came off looking like a vanity project gone horribly wrong. They weren’t the types of choices that made Bezos the world’s richest man by being a maverick who zigs when everyone else zags.

ChicagoBusiness.com

Thinly sliced: Gov. Cuomo decries loss of Amazon HQ2, while workers’ union says good riddance

HQ2TK. Amazon on Thursday announced that it would withdraw plans to open a planned headquarters in New York City, citing intense local opposition. “A number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward,’’ Amazon said in a statement, first reported by The New York Times. The headquarters had become a local flashpoint, spurring a national discussion about the role of government subsidies, the importance of transparency, and the impact trillion-dollar tech companies can have on rents and local businesses.

TheNewFoodEconomy.com

How Amazon’s HQ2 Exit Just Threw a Wrench in the Plans of New York’s Small Businesses

Amazon said Thursday it was scrapping its plans to build a new corporate campus in Queens, New York, following a wave of opposition spearheaded by local politicians. But not everyone in the borough is happy to see Amazon go.

After a several months-long tour of the country in search of a new headquarters, dubbed “HQ2,” Amazon in November chose two sites, opting in the end to split its operations between New York City and Crystal City in Northern Virginia. Amazon said the location in New York, along Long Island City’s waterfront, would create at least 25,000 high-paying jobs over the course of the next 10 years.

Inc.com

Amazon decision to scrap NY plan leaves Virginia poised for prospect of more jobs

Virginia won the Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes outright after all.

Amazon announced on Thursday that it will not build a part of its new East Coast headquarters in New York because of political backlash from elected officials there.

That’s not a problem for the company in Virginia, where Gov. Ralph Northam already has signed into law an incentive package that will govern the creation of 25,000 high-paying jobs in Arlington County and sets the terms for an additional 12,850 jobs in a future phase.

NewsAdvance.com

Mississippi expected 1,000 jobs at a Gulfport shipyard. But the deal is dead.

The deal is dead between the state and Topship, an affiliate of oil-services company Edison Chouest Offshore of Louisiana, for a shipyard on the industrial seaway that was supposed to create 1,000 jobs.

In 2016, the state pledged $36 million in grants, plus a host of tax incentives, in exchange for Topship’s agreement to create the jobs — with average pay of $40,000 a year — on property the Mississippi State Port Authority bought.

The agreement was voided in December, when Topship failed to hit benchmarks that required a $68 million investment and completed construction, said Melissa Scallan, public relations manager for the Mississippi Development Authority.

Sun Herald

What Millennials and Valentine’s Day Say About the Economy

Back in my day, I put myself through college. If you rolled your eyes, you might be a millennial.

And there are a lot of millennials now. More than 74 million, according to the Pew Research Center. In fact, millennials, whose ages range from 23 to 38, now outnumber even the baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. Millennials do things a little differently from their parents and their spending patterns will have big implications for the American economy.

Valentine’s Day is a case in point, and love is the key to the holiday.

In 1965, the average American woman married at age 21. Today, that has risen to 29 and two-thirds of millennials aren’t yet married. The average age that a woman has her first child has risen to 28 from 25 in 1970. And the average age of a first-time home buyer in 2017 was 32, compared with the late 20s early this century.

Barrons.com