Michigan Radio – June 27, 2017
Written by Tyler Scott
Amazon is planning to build its second distribution center in Romulus, partly with funds from a five million dollar state grant. The Michigan Strategic Fund board approved the grant Tuesday.
Amazon had considered other locations in the Midwest and Canada as potential development sites, according to Josh Hundt, Vice President of Business Development Projects at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the Strategic Fund Board. The Michigan Business Development Program is the pot of money allocated by the state legislature where the funds will come from. …
Although state officials are “excited” by the hiring of large numbers of employees Amazon promises, a study published in 2016 by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance concluded Amazon’s net-effect on the economy equates to fewer overall jobs. Co-author of the study, Stacy Mitchell, says Amazon hurts competition by getting the consumers in the habit of shopping online instead of at brick-and-mortar retail stores. Mitchell says in 2017 purchases of Amazon goods and services equated to $1 out of every 2$ spent online.
“As Amazon has grown, it is displacing a lot of sales from brick-and-mortar retailers. Not just the chains, but also locally owned businesses,” Mitchell said. “As those retailers cut back, close and lose business, they’re actually eliminating more jobs than Amazon is creating.”