OPINION| Thomas: Scratch an Amazon Headquarters Off Your List
Cynicism and skepticism. These are just two top of mind isms that are tip of tongue following my interview with the CEO of the South Coast Chamber of Commerce. Don't get me wrong. Rick Kidder is genuine. The mission to land an Amazon corporate headquarters is at best, altruist.
Kidder explains it's good practice to design a template to lure big businesses to New Bedford. That's a great point. However, there's a chamber, a tourism board and economic development council. It's sad to believe there's no blueprint after all these years. If you wonder why it ain't happenin', adjust your thinking cap.
Kidder correctly states Massachusetts is an education mecca. New Bedford is not. Education is a must have on Amazon's list. There are other communities with quicker access to the higher ed. market. Municipalities like Worcester have a plethora of great schools plus high speed rail service.
Finally, there's the burning issue of crime and excessive drug use. Their prevalence is nationwide. Couple crime and drugs with all the other factors, and New Bedford is going to be a difficult sell job. Maybe we can offer their executives a seafood dinner?
Editor’s Note: Brian Thomas is the host of Brian’s Beat on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10am-Noon and Saturdays from 6am-9am. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.