The shortlist includes one Canadian city and 19 cities in the US, with some bookmakers putting Atlanta, Austin and Boston as the odds-on favorites to win the bid. If selected, Amazon's HQ2 could bring as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs to Montgomery County and create tens of thousands of additional jobs in the surrounding communities.
Howard Zemsky, the president of Empire State Development which submitted the proposal for New York City and environs, said the agency is proud to be a finalist.
An Amazon official said in a news release that the company learned, through the process of accepting applications, about new communities across North America that could be considered for future investment and jobs. But the county was not informed by the state whether the sites made it into the final bid sent to Amazon, said Dutchess County's assistant county executive Ronald Hicks.
In a brief statement Thursday morning, Austin Mayor Steve Adler recognized that "mobility and affordability" are among the city's greatest challenges in attracting businesses like Amazon, and said the city council is focused on addressing those two concerns.
Amazon released a list of 20 finalists on Thursday, and Toronto is the only Canadian city in contention.
Amazon has whittled down the list of candidates for its much-coveted second headquarters, delivering snubs to some cities in the western USA and including some surprise locations. Newark also proposes to give Amazon $2 billion in tax breaks.
238 proposals were submitted from across North America the company's second headquarters in North America.
Chicago, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio were the Midwestern cities on the list of candidates.
The company expects to make a decision sometime in 2018. And the city has touted its strengths in key sectors in which Amazon's business is evolving, including media, advertising, fashion, tech and advanced manufacturing.
The four regions came from Buffalo-Rochester; New York City, Hudson Valley and Long Island; Syracuse-Utica; and the Albany area.
"I would imagine that for this type of initiative, wherever the conversation goes depending on what Amazon has in mind, it's going to vary, and I think until we hear from them about what they're interested in, that's an impossible question to answer", he said. Maryland put forward an extremely strong group of sites that were all supported by the state with incentive packages totaling more than $5 billion, including road and transit improvements.
Three locations in the Washington D.C. metro area made the list.