Amazon is in the process of completing an offer to build a second headquarters in Maryland, which would be an incredible gain for the state. Several local companies in the area are working together to do everything they can to attract Amazon. “All hands are on deck when it comes to Amazon,” said Anirban Basu, an economist and president of Sage Policy Group in Baltimore. In just three years, Amazon’s entry into Maryland has led to 4,000 jobs, millions in state tax revenue and 2.73 million square feet of newly built warehouse space. If the second location begins construction, there will be a more dynamic economy, more knowledgeable workers, and Maryland will become an overall better place to conduct business as a result.
However, Amazon would create more competition for workers in the region and the cost of living and doing business would rise. Also, small Main Street businesses have been forced to close down or are in major trouble because of Amazon’s incredible success. From my perspective, it has to be difficult for small local businesses with small workforces who are doing everything they can to make themselves known and sell their merchandise, only to have a huge company come and grab everyone’s attention and efforts. While a second location would be incredibly beneficial for the state and for the overall economy, like I have said in previous posts, Amazon can’t be everything to everyone and there will always be special aspects of small, entrepreneurial companies that can’t be copied.
I have been continually observing the ways in which smaller businesses continue to handle their operations considering that Amazon offers consumers many perks. One of which includes a Prime Now delivery service in the Maryland area, promising two-hour delivery of goods for Amazon Prime members. The struggle that small businesses are facing isn’t surprising. Even though Amazon will provide hundreds of additional jobs, there is still a unique component of working for a small company, believing in it wholeheartedly, and doing everything possible to contribute to their growth. There is most definitely a place for small businesses in today’s society. Something in particular that stands out when consumers walk through the doors of a small company or store is the fact that they are receiving an experience unique to that business. It is likely that the employees will spend time with the customer, get to know their interests and needs, and determine how to accommodate them accordingly. If the customer returns to that store it is possible that the employee will remember them. With a giant like Amazon, the customer experience is completely different, and there are perks to their approach of convenience as well.
In closing, I am a firm believer that small business owners have a strong level of passion for their career and that there is something to be said for that. There are going to be hardships, successes, and everything in between, but with passion anyone can succeed. As a resident of Baltimore, Maryland, myself, I will be curious to see how Amazon’s plans progress, and to see how even some of the small businesses that I am familiar with handle the addition.