Jostling for Jobs: Backfire After Sununu Says NH has 'All the Benefits, Without the Headaches'
CONCORD — In his pitch to Amazon on Wednesday, Gov. Chris Sununu gave the company an ultimatum at the expense of Massachusetts.
"Make the predictable choice," it said. "Choose Boston and next year when you leave your tiny $4,000-a-month apartment only to sit in 2 hours of traffic trying to make your way to an overburdened airport, you’ll be wishing you were in New Hampshire."
Those words left a bad taste in the mouths of some of our neighbors to the south.
A Boston Globe column published Wednesday pushed back, agreeing traffic was indeed a nightmare in Boston.
"But you know what else is a nightmare? Every half-baked presidential candidate taking up residence in your tiny state for six months every four years," Columnist Nestor Ramos wrote. "Earlier this year, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, without evidence, pinned his state’s devastating fentanyl problem on Lawrence. After the allegation turned out to be unprovable, he went back to pardoning bears or whatever."
On Wednesday Sununu met with Londonderry town and state officials as New Hampshire submitted its proposal to Amazon for why the online giant's second headquarters should be located in the Granite State, and more specifically Londonderry.
The deadline to submit was Thursday and New Hampshire is battling it out with several other states nationwide for the promised 50,000 jobs and $5 billion of investment.
“As part of the regional metro-Boston area, southern New Hampshire offers all the benefits typically associated with major metro areas yet maintains the advantages of being in a truly enterprise-friendly state: access to a world-class workforce, a pro-business, low-tax environment, and a streamlined regulatory environment,” Sununu said. “By embracing a joint venture with the State of New Hampshire, Amazon stands to gain a partner that believes the customer comes first.”
Sununu also touted the New Hampshire advantage.
"Everyone else is still trying to play catch up to this tax incentive we created in 1789 — no sales tax and no income tax," he said. "Obviously the Boston region is a great place to go, but if you're going to be there, be in tax-free New Hampshire. It's all the benefits without the headaches."
One aspect that could hurt the Bay State: It didn't follow proper instruction when drafting its proposal. Amazon asked state and regional leaders to coordinate no more than one bid from any metropolitan area, but some cities in the same metropolitan area submitted rival bids. There are two alone from northeast Massachusetts' Merrimack Valley — one from a cluster of municipalities in greater Lawrence and another from greater Lowell.
Top real estate offerings pushed by developers include Suffolk Downs, the former horse racing track at Boston's border with Revere, or the Union Point development at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station. Others are advocating for more urban locations, such as Boston's Seaport District, where Amazon is already planning to open a 900-worker office next year to advance its Alexa virtual assistant.
New Hampshire's completed proposal can be found here.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.