Memphis city leaders plan to use Amazon loss for future efforts

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Amazon is passing on Memphis to be the home of its new headquarters, but it doesn't mean the city is giving up on landing a high-tech company.

The company announced on Thursday they narrowed the 200-plus applicants down to 20 finalists. Nashville and Atlanta are two nearby cities that made the cut.

“I was in shock and disbelief," said councilman Berlin Boyd. "I think that Memphis put forth a great effort.”

Councilman Boyd says he thought the Bluff City would’ve made a great home for Amazon’s second headquarters.

“We are one of the most charitable cities across the country and therefore, I think we are warm welcoming and inviting people.”

Mayor Jim Strickland released a statement that said in part, “We came together and gave it our best shot. The good news is that this exercise showed us new ways to showcase our city that we are already using to attract other businesses.”

“It also gives us an opportunity as a city to regroup and focus on some of the things we need to address," said Boyd.

Councilman Boyd said we could improve in areas like transportation, workforce and direct flights coming in and out.

He said Nashville, which made the list of finalists, offers more incentives than we do to potential businesses, and said they get an extra boost from the state’s economic development department.

“Memphis is always treated as the stepchild to the state," said Boyd.

He said the city’s still working to land a big project that would help the economy and overall environment.

“We have another opportunity now, Apple is putting out something similar, going through a similar process, so I think we should be just as aggressive and try to go after Apple.”

Apple’s looking to open a new campus somewhere in the U.S., making a $350 billion commitment.

That could be another great opportunity for Memphis as Apple said they plan on hiring 20,000 workers within the next five years.

"I think you got to go big or stay home, and these opportunities, this is a game changer for the economy of our city, and I think ultimately, we must take on the approach of we’re going to risk it all to gain something to increase and make a better environment and place and better workplace for the citizens and city of Memphis," said Boyd.

City council also recently approved the PILOT for an Amazon fulfillment center to come to Memphis.

The facility would collect and repackage products for distribution. That’s expected to create 600 jobs here.