By:  Monica Kucharski

Talk about your high-stakes continental bidding war!

In September, the giant e-commerce retailer Amazon asked for bids to host its second headquarters campus in North America.  As at Oct. 19 deadline for submissions, the company received bids from 238 cities and regions in 54 states and provinces across the U.S. and Canada.

Among the contenders is City of Mississauga, as part of the Toronto Region bid.

What’s at stake for the bidders?  Quite the economic bounty:  about 50,000 jobs, 8 million square feet of development, and $5 billion coming in from construction of the site, not to mention a potential billion or two down the road from the company’s indirect contributions.  Amazon says that its own total contribution to Seattle where its current HO is located, was $38 billion from 2010 to 2016.

No wonder so many cities in North America hustled to present themselves as the best locality to accommodate Amazon’s criteria:  a stable and business-friendly environment, and proximity to a large population center, an international airport, highways and mass transit routes, and major universities.

“Without question, Mississauga and the Toronto Region would be the leading destination for Amazon to invest, expand service offerings, and further cement its reputation as a global business giant,” said Crombie in a statement to The Mississauga News.  “Mississauga and the Toronto Region have highly-skilled talent, national infrastructure, and access to international markets that will ensure Amazon can meet and exceed the demands of its global customers,” Crombie said.

In addition to having the Toronto Pearson International Airport within its parameters as well as a U of T  and Sheridan campuses, being interconnected by several highways and in the close orbit of globally known Toronto, Mississauga also has a couple of aces up its sleeve in this bidding war!  The City already has a relationship with Amazon — the company’s huge fulfillment centre is located in Meadowvale, and the company’s new robotic distribution centre is only a hopscotch across the City border, in Brampton.

Amazon promised to have a shortlist of candidates ready by the end of November, but going by recent news reports, this anxiously anticipated list won’t be ready until early next year.  Can Saugans keep their fingers crossed for that long?