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Buffalo, Rochester to collaborate on attracting Amazon HQ

Buffalo and Rochester are teaming up in an attempt to attract Amazon to build its second headquarters in western New York.

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Buffalo and Rochester are teaming up in an attempt to attract Amazon to build its second headquarters in western New York.

The two major economic development organizations in the cities - Invest Buffalo Niagara (InBN) and Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) announced Thursday they are jointly collaborating in the effort.

Last month, Rochester Chamber of Commerce president Bob Duffy said his organization would pursue bringing Amazon to the City of Rochester. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter both backed the effort to bring Amazon to Rochester.

“In assessing the full scope of the Amazon HQ2 RFP opportunity, it was apparent that by linking our efforts, the combined Buffalo Rochester Metro Corridor can offer a proposal that is both compelling and extremely competitive,” said InBN President and CEO Tom Kucharski and GRE Interim President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt. “With over 2.2 million people, a very talented labor pool, and an extremely livable community, our organizations are excited to join forces in attempting to draw the interest of Amazon.”

Last month, Amazon issued a request for proposals (RFP) for potential site locations for the company’s second corporate headquarters (HQ2). The company said it could hire as many as 50,000 new full-time employees; the average wage for workers would be roughly $100,000 over the next 10-15 years.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo touted the "undeniable connectivity" of their two regions. In a joint statement, they said, “In addition to several excellent site options and a low-cost operating environment, we believe that it is our people, highly-skilled workforce, world-class colleges and universities, and strong regional competency in radio-frequency identification (RFID), sustainable packaging, flight controls, drone technology, high-performance computing, software development, and data analytics that will help our proposal stand out.”

The combined Buffalo Rochester Metro Corridor submission highlights the "well-documented affordability of the region, low operating costs for business located there, and ease of travel."

Various area companies and business organizations, university and community leaders, and elected city and county officials are also contributing to the efforts.

The deadline for the proposal is October 19th.

"I have a feeling they're going to get about 100 proposals from across the country, and it will take a little bit of time to get some feedback," said Hurlbutt.

13WHAM News will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

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