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Dear Partnership for New York

Didi Caldwell
1:01 read

Dear Partnership for New York,

Bravo! Your open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in today’s New York Times is a powerful testimony of the broad local support your community has for making Long Island City the home of HQ2. Regardless of the response it may get from Mr. Bezos, this display of stakeholder alignment sends a convincing signal to corporate executives everywhere that New York’s enormously diverse business, civic, social and governmental leadership welcomes new business.

Ideally, this letter would have published many months ago, backed by an invitation from the collective signers to have a personal audience with Mr. Bezos in their hometown. Hindsight is 20-20. Nevertheless, by publishing this letter you have sparked a potent new approach to demonstrating community alignment when attracting capital investment. Surely, there will be a hailstorm of copycat letters that emerge all over the country letting Mr. Bezos know how much they welcome his business. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Although your letter may be a-day-late-and-dollar-too-short for Amazon, it sheds light on the importance for economic developers to have all of their regional stakeholders – government, utility and transportation organizations, local industry and labor leaders, civic, social and cultural groups – on board with the overall business attraction mission. Transparency is key, of course, and as New York knows all too well, there will be opposition, but those you are courting know that, too. Enterprise businesses typically have the patience and resolve to deal with opposition as long as they have the unwavering support of local leadership.

My colleagues and I will watch closely the reaction that comes from Amazon and others as a result of your letter. Regardless of the outcome, you should rest assured that you have done what is right for your community.

With respect,

Didi Caldwell
Founding Principal
Global Location Strategies