Bid to Bring Amazon HQ2 to Newark

Amazon is expected to announce the location of its second Headquarters “HQ2” by the end of the year, and Newark, NJ is a contender. The HQ2 project was announced on September 7 2017, and 238 bids were submitted by the deadline of October 19, 2017. Currently, the final round of the contest includes a list of 20 cities, and Newark hopes to be the socially responsible pick.

In its Request for Proposal (RFP), Amazon indicated what they are looking.

“In choosing the location for HQ2, Amazon prefers:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
  • A stable and business-friendly environment
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options”

In response, Newark submitted a 200-page proposal entitled “Yes, Newark”. The city boasted its status as the largest city in New Jersey with promising potential. As a transportation hub, it has an international airport, major port, transit system, subways and several highways through and surrounding the city. It is home to an enormous talent pool, with New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers-Newark campuses located in the University Heights neighborhood of the city; it is also close in proximity to several other universities across New Jersey and New York. On the whole, New Jersey is one of the best educated states, so Amazon would have a wide range of talent to choose from. While Newark is located right next to New York City, which is also on the finalist list, it offers lower accommodation costs. Additionally, Newark has been building up its technology infrastructure and has one of the best fiber optics [high-speed] networks in the country.

The Amazon HQ2 move is scheduled to be done in three phases, the first phase being a move into workspaces ready for immediate occupancy, which Newark offers plenty of, in addition to the acres of land ready for construction. The city has proposed six locations for HQ2, including: (1) Gateway Center, (2) Mulberry Commons, (3) Matrix Riverfront, (4) RBH-South Market, (5) Lotus Riverfront, and (6) Washington Park.

With Amazon’s pledge to bring 50,000 permanent jobs and spend $5 billion on construction, Newark is eager to bring HQ2 home. The state of New Jersey, under former Governor Chris Christie, offered Amazon $7 billion in state and local tax breaks in their bid.

With corporate social responsibility a key concept for corporations’ livelihood in the 21st century, Newark hopes that Amazon will consider the immense impact bringing HQ2 would have on the city. Amazon picking Newark would have a great positive affect on the company’s social responsibility image. Supporters of Newark’s bid have publicized such notions, such as Mayor Ras Baraka has expressed.

“When a corporation recognizes their role in transforming a city, that is not only good for their bottom line, but it sends a powerful message to their workforce and consumers who are committed to making a positive social, economic and human rights impact.”

– Ras Baraka, Mayor of Newark

Newark offers everything that Amazon and more, including the chance to significantly bolster the company’s corporate social responsibility. The 20 finalist cities, other corporations, and the general public will be awaiting Amazon’s big announcement, as the final months of 2018 approach.


North Jersey News:




Alexa for Business: Overview

The release of Alexa for business has provided new avenue for businesses to increase efficiency. Alexa allows for easier communication in the workplace and the removal of mundane corporate tasks like ordering new supplies, turning on video conference equipment, setting reminders etc. Alexa is able to complete those tasks in half the time according to Amazon. The service is a monthly subscription of seven dollars per shared device per month and three dollars per enrolled use per month.

Alexa for business has two categories shared and personal devices. Shared devices can be placed in public locations and can be used by anyone. These devices would be placed in conference rooms, lobbies, and or other company wide spaces. Personal devices have enrolled user with Alexa so it can complete personal tasks like managing to-do lists and setting reminders. Personal devices also have the ability to send messages, conduct calls, access calendars, schedule meetings etc. Personal users can also sync their personal home Alexa with Alexa business. The devices price ranges from $49.99 to $229.99 plus the monthly subscription of $7 per shared device and $3 dollars per enrolled user. Shared devices do not need to be personally enrolled. Alexa can book conference rooms by linking with the calendar provider and give her authorization to enable the room booking feature. Alexa can also check the availability of the room and find out who booked the room. Alexa can be synced with the corporate calendar which allows her to directly turn on video conferencing equipment and join the respective meeting. This eliminates time spent trying to set up equipment using meeting IDs or a conference call number. Alexa also has a dashboard that manages user and devices, add or remove skills, manage video conferencing options, invite new users, and manage corporate calendars.

Alexa for Business can improve work efficiency however the price for the subscription and the price for the device isn’t worth it for some business owners. At the moment not, many business owners are willing to take on extra costs just to make daily tasks easier. Amazon believes that Alexa can bring companies into a more high-tech era but the results may not be totally worthwhile.


Sabre88, LLC Named One of the Nation’s Fastest-Growing Inner City Businesses


October 4, 2018

Newark, NJ Sabre88, LLC Named One of the Nation’s Fastest-Growing Inner City Businesses

Annual ranking by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City published in Fortune

Boston, Massachusetts Oct 1ST & 2nd, 2018 – The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) announced that Newark NJ’s Sabre88, LLC has made the 2018 Inner City 100 list of the fastest-growing inner city businesses in America, based on revenue growth. ICIC, a 25-year-old national nonprofit founded by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter, promotes economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment that leads to jobs, income and wealth creation for local residents.

The list was revealed at the 20th Annual Inner City 100 Conference and Awards in Boston October 1-2.  The full list is available on Fortune’s website. Sabre88, LLC, led by CEO Robert Cottingham, Jr. was ranked #40th based on its growth rate from 2013 to 2017 of 218.81%. Its 2017 revenue was $4,982,269.00. This is the fifth consecutive time that Sabre88 has been recognized by the ICIC.

Said ICIC CEO Steve Grossman, “Inner City 100 companies are forces of economic opportunity, optimism and transformation in their communities. They lead the way in innovation, job creation and economic revitalization and it’s an honor to shine the spotlight on their leadership and accomplishments. In addition to excellence in business, these pioneering entrepreneurs have demonstrated a deep commitment to and passion for their communities, which significantly impact the wellbeing of their local economies”.


Now celebrating its 20th year, ICIC’s Inner City 100 list has long celebrated urban entrepreneurship. Since its inception, ICIC’s list has recognized 975 companies, which have seen average growth rates of more than 400 percent during a five-year period and have collectively created more than 126,000 meaningful jobs in America’s distressed and underserved communities and neighborhoods.  The Inner City 100 program opens doors for other budding urban entrepreneurs and stimulates inner city business development and job creation through recognition, networking and learning.

“These businesses and their owners are a testament to the impact innovation and entrepreneurship have had in rejuvenating urban areas across the U.S. Companies such as Sabre88, LLC are experiencing revenue growth and increased investment, which are in turn creating more jobs and economic opportunity for citizens in the communities where these companies call home” said ICIC President and COO, Matt Camp.

2018 Inner City 100 by the numbers:


  • Average growth rate of 436 percent between 2013 and 2017
  • Represent 46 cities in 23 states
  • Employed 10,085 individuals in 2017
  • Created 5,516 new jobs in the last five years
  • On average, 36 percent of employees live in same neighborhood as the company.
  • Average company age is 15 years
  • Average 2016 revenue is $14.8 million
  • 31 percent are women-led
  • 38 percent are minority-led
  • Represent 26 industries

CEOs from the winning companies were invited to the Inner City 100 Conference and Awards, two days of robust networking opportunities and educational sessions led by Fortune 500 executives and academics from top-tier universities, including Harvard Business School. Past winners have reported connecting with multi-million-dollar investors as a result of appearing on the Inner City 100 list and attending the Conference.

Inner City 100 Methodology: The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) defines inner cities as core

urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes than their

surrounding metropolitan statistical areas. Every year, ICIC identifies, ranks, and awards the 100 fastest

growing businesses located in America’s inner cities. In 2018, companies were ranked by revenue

growth over the five-year period between 2013 and 2017. This list was audited by the independent

accounting firm AAFCPAs.

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)

ICIC is a national nonprofit founded by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. ICIC’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment that leads to jobs, income and wealth creation for local residents. Through its research on inner city economies, ICIC provides businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. The organization supports urban businesses through the Inner City 100, Inner City Capital Connections, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, and Santander Bank’s Cultivate Small Business program. Learn more at or @icicorg.