Google is looking at Chicago as a possible site for a major operations center, which could employ anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people, according to Crain's Business News.

Chicago is "on the short list" for the facility, Crain's says, along with several other cities.

If it is chosen, that would be "fantastic," said Zach Brandon, president of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce.

He said a Google center in Chicago would boost the tech presence of the entire Midwest.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, already has more than 800 employees in Chicago, Crain's says. It also has a small office in Madison. At a recent Chamber event, the head of Google's Madison site, Jeff Naughton, said the office has been adding staff, but Google has not said much about how many employees it has here or what they do.

Meanwhile, Amazon, which has been conducting a very public search for a second headquarters site, appears to be headed to the East Coast. The Boston Globe says Amazon is negotiating to lease as much as 1 million square feet of space in Boston.

The Madison area is one of more than 100 metro areas around the U.S. that put in a bid for the Amazon HQ.

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Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.