During a speech to the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Gov. Nathan Deal sent a clear message to the business community and legislators about Amazon.
Ever since the company requested bids from cities for places to build their second headquarters, several in Georgia have stepped up with plans and incentives to lure them and their billions of dollars in.
Deal told the chamber he hopes Amazon picks somewhere in Georgia since the state has been voted the number one place to do business several years in a row. He said, "rest assured that we have made a strong, highly competitive offer that highlights all that makes us unique and truly the best place for any company to do business – our skilled workforce, our strengthening infrastructure, our business-friendly policies and our connection to the global market."
He said while the energy around the issue is high, he cautioned about using crucial legislative time this session focusing on a company that is still far from narrowing down their choices.
"We cannot waste valuable time, energy and effort when what we should be doing is focusing on enhancing those issues which have already made us an attractive candidate to Amazon...it would be very unwise for this session of the General Assembly to consume valuable time trying to guess what Amazon is going to do. Such speculation may in fact do us more harm than good."
Instead, Deal said he would call a special session if Georgia makes the short list.
"Let me assure you that if Georgia makes the list of final three contenders for HQ2, I will call a special session so that we can make whatever statutory changes are required to accommodate a business opportunity of this magnitude. To do so before we know where we stand would be presumptuous on our part and premature."
Some analysts have placed Atlanta as a front runner for the new headquarters, which is expected to cost around $5 billion to build and operate. State and city leaders have called their bids aggressive and historic.
Stonecrest, Ga. has gone to great lengths to draw Amazon in. They even proposed giving up a portion of their city and renaming it Amazon, Ga.