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Want to help craft Charlotte’s pitch to Amazon? Here’s your chance

The Amazon receiving center on Old Dowd Road at Wilkinson Boulevard in west Charlotte.
The Amazon receiving center on Old Dowd Road at Wilkinson Boulevard in west Charlotte. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

For those Charlotteans looking to get involved in the city’s efforts to lure Amazon, you’ll have a chance next week.

Members of the public are invited to attend a community event Oct. 11 to brainstorm “intangible considerations” about the region – unique features that give Charlotte its personality – to be included in the city’s bid.

Amazon.com has urged communities to present such features in their submissions to become second headquarters for the e-commerce giant. Amazon says the $5 billion second headquarters would add up to 50,000 new jobs. Proposals are due Oct. 19.

Tim Whitmire, co-founder Charlotte-based leadership development company The Iron Project and men’s workout group F3, said the summit will be a “grass-roots” effort for the community to generate reasons as why Charlotte is a great place for Amazon.

“I think this is exactly the sort of place that Amazon would want to be,” said Whitmire, who came up with the idea for the event – set for 8 to 9:30 a.m. in the second-floor auditorium of UNC-Charlotte Center City’s campus at 320 E. Ninth St.

“I want the general public to be there,” he said. “One thing we’ve seen a lot of in F3 ... a lot of times the best ideas come from the guys who are showing up at the workout every day.”

Whitmire said participants Wednesday will be divided into working groups of 10 people each. Each group will determine one Charlotte intangible they think should be included in the final proposal to Amazon. By Oct. 13th, each group will work as a team to create a final slide document. Whitmire said that will then be given to officials putting together Charlotte’s proposal to Amazon.

The Charlotte-based nonprofit Carolina Fintech Hub, launched in September, is also partnering on the event.

As for features he’d highlight about Charlotte, Whitmire said the city has great weather, great cost of living and less traffic than many other places.

“We have a really great city,” he said, noting that just having a lot of people attend Wednesday would send a positive message about Charlotte to Amazon: “We would love to get 300 to 400 there.”

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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