Can Amazon HQ2 pursuit give Philly leg up on future big business acquisitions?

Councilmen Bill Greenlee (left) and Derek Green talk business during a hearing Monday.

Councilmen Bill Greenlee (left) and Derek Green talk business during a hearing Monday. (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

A Philadelphia City Council hearing evaluated what’s been called a historic effort to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to the city with a goal of replicating the process to attract other major businesses.

Councilman Derek Green says he wants city officials to use the same zeal they did with the Amazon pitch to help bring other big employers to town.

“The fact that we were able to come together to put together this proposal really provides an opportunity to look at best practices, on how we were able to develop this proposal for Amazon HQ2,” Green said. “We can use this same type of energy and initiative and drive to focus on some of the other issues we have in the city of Philadelphia.”

Councilman Alan Domb suggested better marketing to dispel the impression that Philadelphia has a bad business climate.

“Put out there that we’re in the middle, we’re trying to get better, but we’re in the middle,” he said.

Too many regulations work against bringing businesses to Philadelphia, said Matt Cabrey, executive director of the group Select Greater Philadelphia.

“When a business environment is perceived to be overly and unnecessarily regulated and restrictive, we give decision makers a reason to select an alternative location,” he said. “Let’s work to welcome companies and help them to grow in Philadelphia, instead of giving them reasons to leave the city.”

Philadelphia is one of 238 applicants for the Amazon HQ2 that company officials said will bring 50,000 jobs  and a $5 billion investment in the chosen location.

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