What are the Benefits of Amazon coming to Sioux Falls?

As we have known for several years, Amazon was looking to put a distribution site in our area, it was only a matter of time. We also know, like most businesses that move here, they want handouts, and if there is one thing we love in Sioux Falls and South Dakota is giving out massive amounts of corporate welfare. Flopdation Park has already received around $50 million for infrastructure from the taxpayers. Amazon has received a Federal Grant and now the SF Development Foundation pretty much wants an open ended TIF to attract more businesses. Their argument is always the same, growth for growth’s sake (which I have never understood, because growth only drives up the prices of affordable housing due to infrastructure and public education costs) and JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!

So let’s look at the kind of jobs Amazon supplies. Most workers will be pickers that make around $15 to start. So where will Amazon get these workers? I have argued that they will suck from other businesses in town that pay less (and there is quite a few of them) and once that bleeding is done, people will start moving here. I also believe many workers at Smithfield will try to move over to Amazon. So in essence, Amazon will not be depending solely on our current workforce, they will have to do a lot of transfers.

Another reason I think it will be hard for Amazon to fulfill their worker needs is because of a very difficult qualification process, like background checks, drug tests and physical fitness. It will also be interesting to hear what Amazon’s policy on marijuana use (outside of the work place) will be if it becomes legal in our state.

But all of those things aside I think there are a few benefits to bringing Amazon here. First off, they will support many other businesses in town, maybe even create some new ones. I also believe once they start stealing workers from local businesses, it may force some of them to raise their wages to keep people.

Amazon coming to town will have some benefits, but I often am confused by Sioux Falls’ mantra ‘Growth for Growth’s Sake’. Which just ends up costing taxpayers more in infrastructure and public safety and public education while the fat cats get their TIF’s, tax breaks and government grants. Let’s face it, Sioux Falls has just turned into a welfare state for the rich, which is no surprise when it is so cheap for them to buy the city council and mayor’s office.


#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 09.01.20 at 7:56 pm

Five to ten years from now, these 1000 jobs will be robotic jobs at best. But South Dakota doesn’t have an income tax, has a relatively low unemployment insurance tax for employers, TIFs, and a lack of workers’ rights in this state. So, for now, it’s a great plan for Amazon as well as into the future for them.

#2 l3wis on 09.01.20 at 8:04 pm

As long as they don’t call it the Sanford Amazon Center.

#3 "Very Stable Genius" on 09.01.20 at 8:27 pm

SAC, however, could be a great and complex cover for the shipment of contraband for some.

#4 kurtz on 09.02.20 at 9:30 am

Yes, socialized agriculture, socialized dairies, socialized cheese, socialized livestock production, a socialized timber industry, socialized air service, socialized freight rail, a socialized nursing home industry, a socialized internet, socialized gas well remediation and now socialized capitalism are all fine with Republicans in South Dakota but then they insist single-payer medical insurance is socialized medicine.

#5 Conservative Here on 09.02.20 at 1:54 pm

This is a Net Loss for Sioux Falls and South Dakota. Great it brings jobs but, crappy $15 an hour jobs that are a dime a dozen around here. Yes there will be some high paying jobs when you have a site that size. Management, IT, Mechanics, etc but, that will probably be less 10% at best of these 1000 jobs. I think it’s going to cost local business customers as our young impatient people, who are already obsessed with gotta have it now, will be able to get their packages 1 day quicker. My biggest concern is having pockets like Bezos in SD and what he can force/buy.

I think its great to get new businesses but, ONLY if they pay their own freight and I don’t have to subsidize it then I say bring it on, if not stay in Seattle.

#6 depression here on 09.02.20 at 9:01 pm

Where is the council on these low paying jobs.The mayor has failed he should have gone after them and said if you want these people to work pay them well.The ten is about as good as slick Mike was.

#7 "Very Stable Genius" on 09.02.20 at 10:28 pm

“… pay them well?” But that would go against the principles of wage collusion.

#8 Parking lot on 09.03.20 at 7:33 am

At least they could force 500 of them to park in the empty Neitzert Ethical Lapse Parking Ramp?

#9 D@ily Spin on 09.03.20 at 9:38 am

Indeed, there will be a job migration from other sectors to Amazon. Isn’t it time to get call center cubicle prisoners into something physical with better benefits?

#10 Warren Phear on 09.03.20 at 10:19 am

The 800 pound gorilla in the Amazon cage is, how many of these 1000 jobs will be part time no benefits?

Who stands to gain the most from the TIF’s? The SFDF or the new business?

#11 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 09.03.20 at 4:11 pm

The “call center cubicle prisoners”, or the CCCP, share an abbreviation similarity with the former Russian abbreviation of the USSR. But this is not a coincidence, however. The only difference is that Soviet citizens maintained a escapism by finding personal freedom and expression with athleticism and the arts, while our local CCCP seek freedom and escapism with Krispy Kreme and some farts.

#12 The Guy From Guernsey on 09.08.20 at 9:51 am

For whatever benefit which an Amazon Distribution Center will bring to Sioux Falls, Fargo will be ahead by the millions of $$’s of incentives and tax consideration that they did NOT put forward in the process of landing a very similar distribution center.


From the article – “Amazon has reportedly not asked for any local tax breaks.”

#13 The Guy From Guernsey on 09.08.20 at 10:00 am

Who is demonstrating the greatest excercise of the principles of free market capitalism?

Those in North Dakota who have a state-run bank and a state-run wheat milling facility, often regarded as quazi-socialists; but gain an Amazon distribution center without apparently granting freebies, nor concessions to government revenue streams (aka taxes)?

Or those crony capitalists in the Sioux Falls and South Dakota economic-development game, registered as ‘Republicans’ only as a means to get elected in order that their agenda* can gain and maintain a foothold in local and state government?

* agenda = placing more government $’s as slop into the trough for consumption by crony hogs.