Meet The Small Alabama Town Vying for Amazon’s HQ2
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
What do New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, and Scottsboro, Alabama all have in common? They're among the 238 North American cities and towns that have thrown their hats in the ring for Amazon's highly-coveted second headquarters.
So, why Scottsboro?
"Why not?" Mayor Robin Shelton told the Daily Sentinel. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Scottsboro, a small town of 15,000 residents located just 40 miles east of Huntsville in Jackson County, may seem like a longshot for Amazon's new $5 billion headquarters, but local officials are hopeful.
"We're selling the region," Rick Roden, President and CEO of the Greater Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, told the Sentinel. "Companies like Google have recognized that Jackson County is in the heart of what we're calling the data corridor of the South. We want Amazon to know about it, too."
With as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs, Amazon's HQ2 will be a boon to the economy in whichever location is chosen. It would also be a considerable accomplishment for an underdog like Scottsboro to successfully court the online retail giant.
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Seemingly unphased by the steep competition, Team Scottsboro is pitching the Northeast Alabama town's proximity to both Huntsville and Chattanooga, as well as easy access to major highways. They've also offered offer tax abatements on a 537-acre tract of city-owned land on Goose Pond Island, which will be renamed "Amazon Island."
"We're putting ourselves on the map," Shelton noted. "Scottsboro is open for business. Big business."