The Arlington Chamber of Commerce wants to make sure supporters of Amazon’s decision to locate in Crystal City aren’t caught napping.
The business organization on March 4 sent out a missive to rally the troops in the days leading up to the County Board’s expected action on an economic-incentive package for the online retailer.
“It’s important for the County Board to hear from the many Arlington businesses and residents who support welcoming Amazon to Arlington,” the business organization said, providing sample messages for those wishing to contact the county government.
County Board members have set a March 16 public hearing on a proposal to provide up to $23 million in incentives over a 15-year period, if the retailer hits specific targets in employment. A vote could come that day, or could be pushed off.
The Arlington incentive package – and a much larger one from the state government – was dangled in front of Amazon to win the “HQ2” sweepstakes. The state measure, which ultimately could total $750 million in incentives, sailed through the General Assembly and was signed by Gov. Northam.
Approval of the package would seem to be a slam-dunk, but in recent weeks a small, vocal and largely left-wing contingent has emerged to oppose it. Amazon officials already have indicated how they feel about politicians prostrating themselves at the feet of activists; the firm rescinded its plan to move to New York City when politicians there began putting up roadblocks.
Officials with the Arlington Chamber do not want to see a repeat in the local area.
“We cannot take this decision for granted,” the organization said in a memo to members. “Amazon’s headquarters offers many benefits to our community, driving economic activity and making a more prosperous Arlington for all.”