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Halifax Partnership spreads some ‘TLC’ as it launches website touting bid for Amazon HQ2

The Halifax Partnership, the city's economic development organization, has launched its website . Halifax Partnership

Halifax’s economic development organization has launched a new website touting the city’s bid for Amazon’s new HQ, known as HQ2.

“Amazon HQ2 could be anywhere. It should be here. Halifax,” touts the website’s homepage.

It’s only the latest move in a number of gestures from Atlantic Canada’s largest municipality in their attempted courtship of the tech giant.

WATCH BELOW: It may be a longshot, but Halifax isn’t backing down with its bid to land the second Amazon headquarters. 

Click to play video: 'Declassified report on Halifax’s Amazon bid reveals city’s pitch' Declassified report on Halifax’s Amazon bid reveals city’s pitch
Declassified report on Halifax’s Amazon bid reveals city’s pitch – Oct 20, 2017

Ron Hanlon, president and CEO of the Halifax Partnership, who launched the website, says the website is a collaborative effort from everyone in the area.

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“Our mayor, premier, First Nations, business and community partners, and our post-secondary institutions work together regularly, quickly, and effectively to attract business and people to Halifax,” said Hanlon.

According to Hanlon, the site provides an overview of the benefits Amazon would receive if they choose Halifax as the location.

“It’s obviously a sales pitch but it’s a very positive, an uplifting story too,” he said. “The reception has been very positive and we’re happy to share it with the community.”

READ MORE: Halifax submits its bid for Amazon’s second North American headquarters

Halifax’s mayor, Mike Savage, says that he’s happy to see the information be made public.

With 238 cities taking part in the bidding process, Savage admits that Halifax is a dark horse candidate. But he expressed optimism about the bid.

“Of course we’re a long shot, but I know that we’d be a great choice and especially on a lot of things that Amazon are looking for,” said Savage.

“We’re a moon shot, but I think if they seriously look at it, they’ll be impressed.”

The Halifax Partnership website incorporates images from Amazon itself, even using its familiar arrow to point from Seattle, the company’s current HQ, to Halifax, N.S. Halifax Partnership

Amazon has said they would spend US$5 billion to build the new headquarters for as many as 50,000 employees. A boon for any city that receives the winning bid.

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Even if Halifax doesn’t come out on top, that doesn’t mean that what was put into the process was worthless, says Dan Shaw, a lecturer at Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business.

“To me, this is a bid about sharpening our pencils so that the next time a bid comes along we have a real shot at it, that we’ll do really well,” he said.

“This is all going to add to our level of professionalism and gets us to understand what our strengths and weaknesses are.”

Shaw says a lot of the information that is on the website can be repackaged and repurposed for a project that, although unlikely to be a $5-billion project, would still be of benefit to the municipality.

On the outside chance that Halifax does end up winning the bid, Shaw says that it would take a lot of work to get the infrastructure ready for one of the world’s leading tech companies.

“It’s hard to even anticipate, but I think there would be a lot of changes,” he said. “The population of Dartmouth would boom…. it is obviously going to revolutionize the Dartmouth waterfront.”

READ MORE: Amazon says 238 places vying to host company’s 2nd headquarters

Savage insists that no matter what happens, Amazon should take a look at the municipality’s bid.

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“We have everything they need to set up an office here. We call it TLC; talent, location, cost. I think that Halifax has what they’re looking for,” said Savage, drawing a connection between the state of Seattle when Amazon began and where Halifax is now.

“We’re a smaller city (than Seattle was) for sure, but Halifax has everything Amazon would require, and they’d have the happiest employees in the world if they came here.

— With a file from The Canadian Press

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