NOTEBOOK: Leaders Survey: Will the growing number of Amazon facilities in Central Iowa help local businesses?
Editor’s note: This is a continuation of our 2021 Leaders Survey coverage, which we began publishing in the Nov. 26 issue. Our annual survey asks business leaders to share what they feel are some of the top issues affecting business in Central Iowa, and in particular the Greater Des Moines region. As you read, you’ll see the responses and also select remarks from those who opted to leave comments as they took the survey.
This year’s guest editor, Jake Christensen, is the founder and president of Christensen Development. He provided analysis of each question.
AGREE OR DISAGREE:
The growing number of Amazon facilities in Central Iowa will help local businesses.
Guest Editor Jake Christensen:
Leaders are split on whether the growing number of Amazon facilities in Central Iowa will help local businesses. Some say that attracting a top-tier business like Amazon is good for our community and brings more jobs and talent to Central Iowa. Other leaders are uncertain and some feel strongly that Amazon will hurt local business, especially smaller local retailers.
Leaders point out that Amazon can help some businesses increase their distribution channels and help others manage supply chain challenges. The commodity product distribution is likely to migrate to Amazon-type delivery platforms, while unique, experiential retail will continue to be in distinctive locations.
Agree. World-class facilities will attract world-class talent.
Mike Zuendel, founder/CEO, Legacy Bridge Private Family Offices
Agree. Doesn’t matter where they’re at. Local businesses can partner with Amazon and gain a worldwide distribution.
Dave Halfpap, board member, Mercy Foundation
I’m not sure. Easier to obtain quick shipments, but Amazon is monopolizing the market as well, therefore putting small businesses under.
April King, organizational change coach, American Enterprise Group
I’m not sure. I am sure it speeds up the supply chain for some businesses, but creates a competitive disadvantage for others.
Doug Wilson, president, Integrated Telehealth Partners
Disagree. Erodes small business.
Scott Carlson, owner, Side of Ranch Inc.
Disagree. It truly depends on whether Amazon, along with providing jobs, reinvests in the community. Iowa is a state of communities. It is what we are built on.
Wendy Current, vice president, training and development director, Ames National Corp.
Disagree. They don’t pay taxes, so the rest of the region’s businesses are subsidizing the roads and infrastructure their business model depends on. Meanwhile, they are stealing employees since they have the extra money available for increased wages.
Brendan Comito, COO, Capital City Fruit Co.
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