Amazon Is Now 'Close to a Deal' For These 2 Cities to Share Its New 'HQ2' Headquarters, According to a New Report

What do Crystal City, Virginia and Long Island City, New York have in common?

If the New York Times is right, they’re the two communities that will share the 50,000 Amazon jobs as a result of becoming the shared home of HQ2:  

The company is nearing a deal to move to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, according to two of the people briefed on the discussions. Amazon is also close to a deal to move to the Crystal City area of Arlington, Va., a Washington suburb, one of the people said.

Amazon already has more employees in those two areas than anywhere else outside of Seattle, its home base, and the Bay Area.

If the Times is right, it’s a great win for those two communities, but also a blow that will probably be felt hardest in two places:

  • Dallas, which is the third city that’s been mentioned repeatedly in the last 48 hours or so as being in “late stage” negotiations with Amazon, and perhaps to a lesser extent–
  • Newark, which already has the headquarters of Amazon’s subsidiary Audible, and where the city’s mayor was telling reporters, “We’re just glad to be here, we have already benefited from being in the running.”

If you’re keeping score, here’s how this developed over the past few days. First, The Washington Post (owned by Jeff Bezos, of course) reported that Crystal City was in final talks. Then an Amazon executive took to Twitter to bash whoever leaked that story.

Then The Wall Street Journal reported that Dallas and New York were still in the running, and then reported that HQ2 would be split in two–but didn’t say which two cities.

Now, perhaps, we have the final details. We should know for sure within the week. Or else maybe Amazon is just playing with us all.

Here’s what else I’m reading today:

Should you give your employees time off to vote?

Meantime, here are six House races that business owners might want to watch–along with a way to find out whether your colleagues, your friends, or even just your neighbor down the street has registered and cast a ballot.

Kids don’t want to work at fast food restaurants. So they’re turning to senior citizens

I don’t often eat fast food, but I stopped at a McDonald’s in suburban New Jersey the other day, and was struck by the fact that every single employee seemed at least 65. Turns out, that’s not a rare hiring strategy at today’s restaurant chains, where senior citizens are prized employees. (Leslie Patton, Bloomberg)

SoftBank and the killing of the Saudi journalist

The tech investment giant has a $100 billion Vision Fund, and $45 billion of that came from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Now they’re facing pressure like everyone in business to predict how the killing of Salah Khashoggi will impact their business. (Ryan Browne, CNBC)

7-Eleven tries scan-and-go

It’s not quite Amazon Go, but 14 7-Eleven stores will be equipped this week with scan-and-go technology thats customers pay for products using their phones, without ever talking to a cashier. There are more than 66,000 7-Eleven stores worldwide, so if it catches on, they’ll have a lot of room to expand. (Ilyse Liffreing, Digiday)

A more diverse crowd of entrepreneurs

Minority women control 44 percent of women-owned businesses in the United States, a big jump from just 20 percent in 1997 according to data from a new study. Here’s a look at some truly inspiring minority women entrepreneurs. (Michelle Cheng, Inc.com)

Carol Humphreys