BUFFALO, N.Y. -- With mid- to large-sized cities throwing their name into the ring to become the new home of Amazon's second headquarters, three metro areas believe they fit the criteria the online mega-retailer laid out in its request for proposals. They are New York City, Rochester and Buffalo.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the county's business attraction arm, Invest Buffalo Niagara, is working with the local Industrial Development Agency and the state to put together a package.
"I've seen some elected officials go out there and write letters and things like that but that's not what Amazon is looking for," said Poloncarz, D-Erie County. "Amazon is looking for an actual attractive package, working with the local governments and the local business community to say this is our best offer to Amazon and that's what we're doing."
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer has promised to talk up the community to company founder Jeff Bezos.
"I think, you know, we meet the criteria, a million people, good well-educated labor force, nice place to live, not too expensive," said Schumer, D-New York.
Rochester also has a federal cheerleader in Rep. Louise Slaughter, who last week made a short pitch to an Amazon representative who was at a meeting about the city's growing photonics industry.
"I started the meeting saying we really would like it if Amazon would come to Rochester and we were ready for it," said Slaughter, D-25th District.
Slaughter believes Amazon dovetails well with innovative technology companies which are already working with local colleges. She does question competition between neighboring cities.
"I would not have tried to do it this way," she said. "I think it seems a little odd to have people compete. Normally what they want to compete against is not having to pay taxes, which probably comes later."
While both Buffalo and Rochester are among the smallest cities competing for headquarters, they share benefits including a central location to cities like New York and Chicago, cheaper property and labor costs. Slaughter said the deadline for proposals is October 19.