Social media commentary on Charlotte’s absence Thursday from Amazon’s list of 20 finalist cities for a second headquarters ranged from the aggrieved to the snarky.
“Can we get our custom wood box back?” commenter Kayak Around Florida tweeted, referring to the box in which Charlotte had sent its application to Amazon.
North Carolina had presented another potential jobs magnet, PayPal, with a handcrafted wooden bowl while courting the company in 2016. When PayPal deleted the state for its passage of House Bill 2, which limited legal protections for LGBT people, state officials famously demanded the bowl back.
Many commenters blamed the city’s lack of a major research university, noting that Raleigh – which made Amazon’s list – is encircled by such institutions.
“No news here,” CharlotteObserver.com reader Guillaume Wicks wrote. “Charlotte is hindered by JEEBUS (religious) minded city and county councils. Lack of innovation, no forward thinking, embarrassing STI/HIV rates, health ratings, health and mental livelihood public spaces. It's a daily gamble crossing the road at a walk night, God only knows if the idea of a more educated work class being introduced to a major metro city without a medical school, research/pharmaceutical facilities. Hoping the new Panthers owners move the team so the city can invest in the people for once!”
Added reader Dave Thompson: “This is the price Charlotte pays for being indifferent to the clanging, shouting, red-lights-blinking lack of a major research university.”
On Twitter, reaction included grave sorrow.
“Charlotte didn’t make the cut for amazon headquarters and my heart is broken,” Rack wrote.
“How does Raleigh make the cut for the Amazon 2nd hq but Charlotte doesn't?! Something seems wrong abt that,” added This guy TJ.
But some expressed relief that Charlotte is out of the running for up to 50,000 high-paying jobs and $5 billion in investments. Some critics have said the massive newcomer would have caused significant problems.
“I'm actually pumped that @amazon passed up our city (#CLT #Charlotte),” Justin Witz wrote. “Although we're the fastest growing #FinTech city in the country, we can't support the infrastructure of 50k new employees & are airport is the worst in operation.”
Lenny chimed in: “Y’all can have it! Charlotte needs to work on its housing, transportation, and homeless situations before #CLTisPrime breaks our back. Amazon ecosystem would have forced many more people to live on the streets.”