A panel discussion at the Philadelphia Business Journal’s annual economic forecast suggested that Amazon’s HQ2 selection process exposed some of the region’s weaknesses, writes Natalie Kostelni for the Journal.
According to the panel, the process showed that the region lacks sufficient tech talent and has poor regional cooperation, as well as a sometimes-misguided public policy for spurring business attraction and retention. The panel suggested that these issues are holding back the city and entire region, which nonetheless could embark on a course to become more competitive.
John Fry, president of Drexel University and chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, said that the Brookings Institution analysis showed how Philadelphia compared when competing for HQ2.
“The big critique they gave us was that we are long on assets but short on a collaborative culture,” said Fry.
Other issues included how little Amazon actually knew about Philadelphia. John Grady, president of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., said that this was a marketing and messaging problem that should be immediately addressed.
In addition to Fry and Grady, the panel included Jerry Sweeney, CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust, and Sylvie Gallier Howard, first deputy commerce director at the Philadelphia Commerce Department.
Read more about what Amazon’s HQ2 selection process revealed about the region in the Philadelphia Business Journal by clicking here.