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Why Amazon HQ2 Isn’t a Fit for New Brunswick

Since April 2015, Opportunities NB (ONB) has worked to bring world-class companies to this province, and we continue to focus our efforts on strategic opportunities that align with the unique strengths of New Brunswick.

Investment attraction is hard work. With over 12,000 economic development groups across North America, competing for the attention of top businesses is fierce. Not every opportunity, however, is the right fit; Amazon for example. Last fall, Jeff Bezos’ company announced plans for a second headquarters dubbed HQ2. No New Brunswick city was among the 238 to throw their hats in the ring. Some may ask “why is that?”

Here are three reasons:

  1. We play to our strengths. Our team is focused on those sectors already recognized as our best bets — sectors like cybersecurity, business and financial services, and cannabis.
  2. The incentives required to make our region attractive to Amazon versus large centres like New York would be too high and not provide a good return on investment for our province.
  3. Does New Brunswick realistically have the 50,000 employees HQ2 would ultimately need? An employer of this scale would be highly problematic for other New Brunswick companies. Competition for the province’s talent would become far too intense.

Ultimately, the cons outweigh the pros.

Amazon will find its fit, and as our CEO Stephen Lund notes in a recent LinkedIn post, ONB will continue to take on the “less glamorous, more difficult work of closing deals.”

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