Despite the fact that 80% of the island still doesn’t have power, Puerto Rico has just put in a bid for Amazon’s coveted new headquarters—and Amazon should take them up on it.
The island, which is struggling to rebuild in the wake of a devastating direct hit by Hurricane Maria, has submitted a proposal to Amazon for the mega-company to build its new office, known as HQ2, in an an old naval station in Ceiba. Bloomberg reported on the bid after receiving a text message on Saturday from Ivan Caraballo Ortiz, a press official for Puerto Rico’s Economic Development and Commerce Department.
If anyone could use the estimated 50,000 high-paying jobs that are projected to come with Amazon’s HQ2, it would be Puerto Rico. Cities around the U.S. have embarrassed themselves begging Amazon to build their new headquarters in their towns (seriously, it’s like billion-dollar promposals), and Amazon is being offered jaw-dropping tax breaks that Puerto Rico is in no position to offer. Instead, they bring something to the table that no other city right now can offer Amazon—good karma.
Companies like Tesla and Alphabet have been jumping at the opportunity to help the American citizens who live on the island–with Tesla sending Powerwall batteries and Alphabet hoping to launch internet by balloon. This could be Amazon’s big chance to make real lasting change in Puerto Rico—and rack up some much-needed good karma points for the company. That, along with a great location and the opportunity to build infrastructure to Amazon’s exacting specifications, could put Puerto Rico at the head of the pack in vying for Amazon’s affection.
Amazon has said it will make a decision regarding its second home next year, and hopefully Puerto Rico will be a contender. In the meantime, here’s how to help Puerto Rico right now.