Rantz: Coronavirus scare foreshadows impacts if Amazon leaves Seattle

Mar 10, 2020, 9:23 PM | Updated: Mar 11, 2020, 5:06 am
Sawant, Amazon tax, coronavirus, Seattle, durkan...
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson,File)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson,File)

The coronavirus has had a direct — and indirect — impact on Seattle businesses. It should be seen as foreshadowing what would happen to Seattle if Amazon is pushed away by a greedy, anti-business city.

Amazon announced they’re allowing a significant portion of their workforce to telecommute to help stem the tide of the coronavirus. Many workers are using this option, staying at home to code and answer emails, rather than potentially expose themselves to the virus. As a consequence, South Lake Union and downtown Seattle has seen significantly less foot traffic. That has equated to businesses suffering.

The hurt

Without the thousands of Amazon employees that keep South Lake Union and the downtown core bustling, restaurants and coffee shops have suffered.

General Porpoise’s Amazon Spheres location has been closed until further notice. A number of Tom Douglas restaurants that surround Amazon businesses have “adjusted the hours of our restaurants to correspond more accurately to the flow of customer traffic.” Other businesses are noticeably empty with one delivery driver telling me most of the coffee shops he had delivered to Monday morning “were completely empty.”

Despite being vilified as soulless and greedy by a Seattle City Council pretending Amazon has caused nothing but problems for the city, Amazon has stepped up to help the surrounding small businesses that rely on them. Amazon announced, per The Seattle Times, that it cover a month of rent “for the local small businesses that operate inside our owned buildings to help support them during this period.”

The reality

This economic hurt is temporary. But it won’t be if Amazon continues to ditch growth in Amazon for a much friendlier Bellevue.

Amazon has already started to make the move, announcing last year thousands of employees would move to their new properties in downtown Bellevue. The company is building their tallest building ever in Bellevue — not Seattle — and promises to bring with them over 15,000 more jobs.

The Seattle City Council and mayor’s office have downplayed the moves and investments.

“It’s great news for the region,” Mayor Durkan claimed of Amazon’s move to Bellevue in what must be the most transparently disingenuous statement she’s made of late.

And Seattle leaders have shown no interest in trying to keep Amazon here, despite the company shifting focus to Bellevue. Indeed, they’re doubling down on more attacks and tax increases.

Bye bye jobs

Amazon is indirectly responsible for tens of thousands of jobs in Seattle. Coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and shops have gone up and thrived directly off of Amazon employees. We see what these businesses look like without Amazonians stopping by.

What do you think will happen if Amazon stalls their growth here and starts to move existing jobs to Bellevue? We’re justifiably panicked over a short-term coronavirus economic hit. That will look like nothing if Amazon eventually grows elsewhere.

They’re not leaving overnight, though Seattle is making their decision easier each time they forward more attacks and taxes. And in the long term, if they leave, Seattle will need to bring in businesses to make up for the lost Amazonians to maintain our bustling economy. Which big business will want to make that big jump into an expensive city that demonizes businesses? Expedia made the move and they ended up laying off employees.

Amazon moving to Bellevue shows you can have a major business, close to Seattle (which is important when recruiting out of state workers), without any of the anti-business, Socialist baggage. And instead of rushing to get to Seattle, those businesses will look elsewhere. And our local economy won’t be anywhere near as thriving as it is now because of Seattle.

Don’t like the “ghost town” feel of Seattle right now? Well, you better step up your support for Amazon and help make it harder for them to leave.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

King County jail, staffing...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: King County fired the unvaccinated, now pays $103 an hour to fix staffing crisis

The staffing situation at King County jails is so dire that some correction officers are now being paid over $100 an hour for overtime.
2 days ago
car prowl...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Man allegedly car prowls for an hour in broad daylight, as police couldn’t respond

A man was caught on video as he appears to car prowl in Tacoma. Police officers were nowhere to be seen, but even if they were, he couldn't be detained.
3 days ago
MLK Day assembly...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle-area school uses MLK Jr. Day to bash police and USA

A local school used a Martin Luther King Day assembly to amplify virulently anti-police and anti-American messages. Is this what the holiday is meant for?
4 days ago
Olympia, state House...
KTTH staff

New state Senator Simon Sefzik views his young age ‘as an asset’

The 42nd Legislative District has a new state senator: 22-year-old Simon Sefzik. He tells the Jason Rantz Show he's excited to learn and get to work.
4 days ago
seattle police, traffic stops...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: New equity policy bars Seattle Police from some traffic stops, opens door to more car theft

Seattle Police are now barred from many non-criminal traffic stops after activists claimed concerns over equity.
7 days ago
Sheriff Fortney...
KTTH staff

Snohomish County Sheriff Fortney will run for re-election after failed recall effort

After a failed recall effort against him last year, Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney says he will run for office again in 2023.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Rantz: Coronavirus scare foreshadows impacts if Amazon leaves Seattle