Little Rock announces preemptive breakup with Amazon

Little Rock took out a full-page ad in the Washington Post to announce that they were "breaking up" with Amazon.

Arkansas is making headlines across the nation.

Little Rock dropped out of the race to be home to Amazon's second headquarters, by breaking up with them before Amazon could break it off with Little Rock.

Their message: bigger isn't always better, after learning the city doesn't meet the qualifications Amazon wanted.

"Hey Amazon, it's not you, it's us,” said Little Rock Chamber of Commerce President, Jay Chesshir in a Thursday morning press conference.

It sounds like something an actress in a romantic comedy would do: Little Rock took out a full-page ad in the Washington Post, breaking up with Amazon.

What caused the breakup? Little Rock Mayor, Mark Stodola told us, things were very one-sided.

"When the RFP for Amazon came out, every economic development consultant in the country pulled their hair out, saying 'what in the world is amazon doing? And every mayor in the entire country also got very alert and very excited about the idea of how they were going to compete,” Stodola said.

Apparently, Little Rock couldn't compete.

"For example, they wanted a metropolitan area of over a million people. We are about 740,000. If you add about 2 or 3 other MSAs together, we can get over a million people. They want an international air port. We don't have an international airport, but we do have plans for one in the future,” the Mayor explained of Amazon’s demands.

The Chamber did their best to put on a brave face, and not take the rejection to heart.

Announcing the #LoveLittleRock, and the corresponding website, encouraging people to share why they love Little Rock, to catch the attention of businesses and non-profits.

"There are many, many industries and businesses out there looking to locate and relocate. This gives us the opportunity to get their attention, and to make sure that we get on their radar screen. In terms of why this is a great place to do business,” Mayor Stodola said finally.

But what businesses? I hit the streets to find out what you’d like.

"I'd like to see a Top Golf,” Landon Ezell said.

"Rooftop bars and restaurants,” Andrew Baldwin said.

"I have a teenage daughter and it would be nice to have something here locally that she and I could do that's more age appropriate and family oriented.” Tonoka Settles told us.

Kyle Tabor’s idea was more green in nature.

"Pretty sad to see Amazon isn't coming, but I'd love to see a Tesla dealership here in Little Rock, and maybe some more charging stations,” Tabor said.

Little Rock Business owner Michelle Dubre said she’d like to see Little Rock become more desirable for businesses, adding, "Police on the street more, on the horses more. I'd love to see us do something to try to help with the homeless problem that we have. I'd love to see any kind of business that would want to come to the area.

"Honestly, I'd like to see them bring Dog Patch back, and roundabouts. More roundabouts. That too,” Carson Bray said.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment