For Stew Young losing the bid to bring an Amazon headquarters to the West Shore wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The Langford mayor admits it was a long shot to have the tech giant set up shop in the city, but the bid contributed to a larger overall message – that Langford is open for business, especially to the tech sector.
“We’re at that point with the population where I’d like to diversify the jobs that we have in Langford and start to go after the tech and things like that,” he said. “That’s what we were trying to do with Amazon, saying ‘hey look, we don’t care how big you are or how small you are, we’re going to roll out the red carpet for businesses and we’re going to create jobs for the people of Langford.’”
Last year, Amazon announced it would be looking for a place to establish a second headquarters. Langford was one of 238 cities including Vancouver, Halifax, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary, who submitted bids to woo the company. In the bid, Langford identified a number of serviced, development-ready areas within the region that could meet the needs of Amazon and the hundreds of employees that would be working at the new facility.
But after months of waiting, Amazon announced last week its short list of 20 candidates, which included Toronto, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and Nashville.
Amazon plans on selecting the location for a second North American headquarters later this year.
But there’s no plans to do away with Langford’s bid just yet. Prepared in partnership with the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology, the City’s economic development committee, the Sooke economic development commission, the Malahat Nation, and multiple businesses and regional partners, Young said it will be transformed into a document to further promote the municipality.
“We’re open for business. We want everyone to know Langford is here, we don’t want to be bypassed,” he said. “We’re going to fight for it. It’s part of our future. We’re going to fight for jobs for the people of Langford and diversify over the next 10 years.”