Letter: Amazon helps the Michigan economy
In a July 31 op-ed ("Amazon’s Prime deal hurts local communities"), the spokesperson for a national lobbying organization suggested that Amazon Prime Day should be a “wakeup call for Michigan’s lawmakers.” While I agree Michiganians should know more about Amazon, I would like to share the full story about our significant contributions to the state economy — in addition to the great prices, wide selection and convenient delivery we provide customers.
Amazon has invested over $300 million in Michigan, making it among the top three fastest growing U.S. states for our investment. In the past two years we’ve created 1,500 full time, full-benefit jobs in Michigan. Independent research estimates that Amazon indirectly supports an additional 1,000 jobs on top of our direct employment.
On top of that, more than 28,000 small and mid-size Michigan businesses have partnered with Amazon to grow their companies and create new, local jobs. We are inspired by their inventiveness, ingenuity and success and have committed to helping them through programs like Amazon Launchpad to support startups around the country and a lending program that provided $1 billion in small business loans last year.
Today, more than a million local businesses in America sell their products on Amazon where they can reach customers around the world and leverage Amazon’s global logistics network to provide the kind of customer service only industry giants used to offer. In fact, local businesses around the world are now responsible for half of the products sold on Amazon.
In Michigan, we also have 19,000 developers and independent authors using Amazon’s services like AWS and Kindle Direct Publishing to run their businesses and distribute their content.
In short, I’m proud to work for a company that is an engine of economic growth, one that is investing big in Michigan, and supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses across the state.
Shawn Westlund, general manager
Amazon Fulfillment Center