These are the 20 finalists for Amazon's new headquarters

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In reference to Northern Virginia being selected as one of the 20 finalists for Amazon's second headquarters, Governor Ralph Northam (D-Va.) says, " We couldn't be prouder that Northern Virginia has been selected as one of 20 candidate locations for this historic project.

Back in September, the Seattle-based company announced it was shopping for a second headquarters, which would create "as many of 50,000 high-paying jobs", setting off a race among cities, including Vallejo, hoping to snag the brass ring. "Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough - all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity", said Holly Sullivan, Amazon Public Policy, in the statement.

The other contenders: Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Indianapolis; Nashville, Tennessee; New York; Newark, New Jersey; and Raleigh, North Carolina. The list includes major cities like NY and Los Angeles, as well as smaller markets such as Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana.

Missouri officials also submitted a bid separate from the two cities that would have involved an innovation corridor between Kansas City and St. Louis rather than a single location in one of the state's major metropolitan areas.

In the coming months, the company will review the bids in more detail and "evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership", Amazon said Thursday.

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Economic leaders in Orlando said the region continues to struggle to put together a cohesive pitch that clearly defines the region's strengths, which include a deep tech talent pool and available land.

Vallejo Chamber of Commerce President and CEO James Cooper said he was disappointed but not surprised by Amazon's decision to exclude Vallejo from the finalists list.

"I'm as positive as it gets and adamant about our community and we have a great product, but this is more geared to Atlanta, or Dallas or (Washington) D.C.", he said. Jerry Brown has offered tax breaks and incentives to Amazon if it chooses a California location for HQ2, including up to $200 million over a five-year period as part of the California Competes Tax Credit program, a streamlined permitting process and up to $100 million in employment training funds over 10 years. "Our combination of high-tech talent, transportation connectivity, cultural diversity and purpose-driven quality of life made for a compelling proposal that complemented the county and state's significant financial incentives".

The new campuses will be highly analogous to its first headquarters in Seattle, which resulted in an additional $38 billion to the area's economy between 2010 and 2016, according to Amazon's calculations so far.

Amazon's announcement Thursday effectively says no thanks to some of the longer-shot proposals.

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Yet location may be less important to Amazon than free money, considering the eye-bulging incentives cities have thrown at the fourth-largest company in the United States.

PAY UP: Boston and MA are unlikely to match the sky-high incentive offers made by other states, including $7 billion from New Jersey and $5 billion from Maryland. IL also offered the online retailer more than $2 billion in financial incentives.

Now, he said, people across the country know about Kansas City.

More: Could Amazon HQ No. 2 come to Sioux Falls?

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