Everyone’s heard of Amazon, the “tech giant” that has pioneered the e-commerce supply chain market. On November 13, 2018, Amazon announced that it will invest $230 million in Nashville while adding 5,000 new high-paying jobs at a new executive operations hub to operate logistics.
Governor Bill Haslam met with economic leaders on Tuesday such as the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce CEO, Ralph Schulz who said “The 5,000 is a good fit in lots of ways, not just in size…it’s something we can absorb more easily, quickly.” Basically, Amazon’s planned job infusion is the biggest in Tennessee history.
“These are great-paying jobs, “Governor Bill Haslam said. “This is a huge deal for the state of Tennessee and our partners in the city of Nashville.” The Operations Center for Excellence will be located in Downtown Nashville, along the Cumberland River, just north of the Gulch.
Amazon claims, “…as part of Amazon’s investment, Tennessee, Davidson County, and the city of Nashville will benefit from 5,000 full-time, high-paying jobs; over $230 million investment; 1 million square feet of energy-efficient office space; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $1 billion over the next 10 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.”
The State of TN says the project is the single largest jobs announcement in the state’s history and is projected to create more than 13,000 jobs total for Tennessee’s labor force. For every single direct job created by the project, an additional 1.6 jobs will be created in the state.
While economic experts and city officials see this as an opportunity for increased state revenues and expansion, many residents and small business owners have a different opinion. Workers who make the daily commute to Nashville say the traffic increase will be even more horrendous than it already is. Small business owners say that increased traffic will bring increased taxes imposed upon the people to support the influx of traffic from the 5,000 high-paying jobs which will be required to maintain roadways and extra parking.
Former Tennessee State Senator, Stacey Campfield, said “That’s the free market at work…as long as they’re not getting rich on subsidies at the expense of the businesses they are competing against. The question to ask would be, what kind of subsidies are they getting (if any) and what kind of accountability are they being held to?”
Chairman of the Sevier County Tea Party, Steve Osborn says “There are pros and cons to the issue. I’ve seen companies like Volkswagen get huge tax breaks as an incentive, which is countered by the revenue created by more spending from new employees. I understand the complaint, but I’m not sure if it’s strong enough to counter the other.”
Time will tell whether the pros outweigh the cons, or the other way around.