New Amazon facility likely to benefit Manatee County and its residents

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MANATEE COUNTY-- It's a done deal. Word quickly spread Thursday that Amazon will in fact build a 1-million square foot distribution center in Ruskin.

The location is just minutes away from the Manatee County line, and Suncoast officials expect this area and its residents to benefit greatly. Amazon will likely hire 1000 employees, and 1000 more seasonal workers. Construction on the facility is set to begin immediately.

"It's a great win for the entire Tampa Bay region," said Sharon Hillstrom with the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation. "A company hiring 1000 employees will have a significant impact on our Manatee County citizens."

Right now, the unemployment rate in Manatee County is 7.5%.

Officials at Port Manatee also expect to benefit from the opening of the $200 million facility.

"I see a tremendous local and regional benefit. Amazon is a major distributor that is geared and poised to utilize the port and region as a jumping off point to expand international trade," said the port's Executive Director, Carlos Buqueras.

Buqueras is hoping to do business with the warehouse once it opens up.

"We are extremely encouraged by this because it will bring additional attention to the benefits of being here and make our sales job easier when we have the support of Amazon coming to the area," he said.

If there is a downside to Amazon coming to the area, it's the fact that Floridians will now be forced to pay a sales tax on any product purchased off the company's website.