* From a press release, with emphasis added for reasons I’ll explain in a bit…
On Tuesday, Uber Technologies was joined by Illinois lawmakers, business leaders and tech community members to showcase their new Midwest Headquarters here. During the event, Andrew Macdonald, Uber’s Regional General Manager for the Midwest and Canada, highlighted the economic impact the company has had on the city of Chicago and announced projected job growth for Uber’s Midwest hub.
Under existing regulations and market conditions, Uber projects it’s Midwest headquarters will more than quadruple in size between now and 2016. The Midwest office started 2014 with 45 employees, a number that quickly grew to 75 staff members and is expected to reach approximately 500 employees by the end of 2016.
* Both highlighted phrases are connected. As Greg Hynes explains, those 500 jobs come with a big catch…
While the company is not seeking state Edge tax credits, tax increment financing subsidies or other incentives, it does want Gov. Pat Quinn to veto or amend a bill on his desk that Uber says conflicts with its business model and imposes heavier regulation than a recently approved city ordinance. Both measures govern ride-sharing companies that rely on smartphone applications and part-time drivers.
“We’d still add jobs” if Mr. Quinn signs the pending legislation as is, says Andrew Macdonald, Midwest general manager at the company, formally known as Uber Technologies Inc. “But to what extent, we don’t know.” […]
The new jobs will include legal, communications, marketing and other support staff, Mr. Macdonald said. On its current path, the company expects to hit the 125 mark by the end of the year and to double that in each of the next two years. That’s well above the 150 or so spots that the company spoke about earlier this year in a story by my colleague Ryan Ori.
But if the state “slams the brakes on,” Mr. Macdonald continued, “We’ll have to keep our eyes on the situation.”