Letter of support for Arlington County’s performance agreement with Amazon
March 15, 2019
The Honorable Christian Dorsey
Chair, Arlington County Board
Ellen M. Bozman Government Center
2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201
Delivered via email: [email protected]
Dear Chair Dorsey,
With the long-term interests of Northern Virginia and the entire region in mind, the Greater Washington Board of Trade encourages the Arlington County Board to approve the County’s performance agreement with Amazon for their new headquarters.
The agreement is good for residents and all types of businesses, from restaurants to retail stores to construction companies, because it helps to make our economy more robust and resilient while catalyzing essential investments in our infrastructure.
Not only will thousands of new, high-paying technology jobs benefit our highly educated workforce, grow our tax base, and give our local small businesses a boost, they will help to diversify our economy and make us more resilient to political turbulence. The recent prolonged government shutdown is a grim reminder that we can no longer rely on just government jobs in our region. In fact, many of the office buildings in Crystal City sit vacant after Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) cost the area thousands of jobs. In the long-run, over-reliance on government dollars has slowed our economic growth.
Amazon’s presence also helps to support Greater Washington’s reputation as an emerging hub for innovation, which benefits our entire technology sector. Other, smaller technology companies have told us that the Amazon deal will actually make it easier for them to attract and retain talent who otherwise may be drawn to Silicon Valley, Austin, or New York.
Further, the State’s incentive package will invest $195 million for new or improved transportation infrastructure throughout Arlington and Alexandria, serving all residents in these diverse, growing communities. Arlington County’s long-term plans include a projected commitment of $7 million per year for new and preserved affordable housing units, helping increase affordable housing in the county.
Amazon’s headquarters will make our economy stronger and provide tangible benefits for the people of Arlington. I encourage the County Board to approve the performance agreement for the Amazon headquarters.
Thank you for your attention and continued hard work in making Arlington a great place to live, work, and visit.
President and CEO
Greater Washington Board of Trade
The Hon. Erik Gutshall
The Hon. Libby Garvey
The Hon. Katie Cristol
The Hon. Matt de Ferranti