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Small-business owners complain HB2 hurting profits

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Some small-business owners say HB2 is costing them money.

Debra Bost lives in Hillsborough. A few years ago, she left her full-time job to help out with her husband's family business.

She owns a parking lot in Charlotte that is a stones throw away from the Time Warner Cable Arena. She says the business is taking a hit ever since House Bill 2 was signed.

"It's scary and sad," she said.

The numerous concert, convention, and event cancellations are having a trickle-down effect. Her profits are down 15 percent. Her biggest fear is the NBA deciding to move the All-Star Game out of Charlotte.

"We would be done for. That's the truth because we can't make it on daily business parking alone. It's not enough," Bost said.

She is among many small-business owners pleading with lawmakers to repeal the controversial law.

WATCH: ABC11's Steve Daniels explains HB2
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Steve Daniels gives an overview of House Bill 2

HB2 was designed to block a Charlotte non-discrimination ordinance, part of which allowed transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with. The state law requires people to use the restroom according to their biological sex listed on their birth certificate in government buildings, schools, and universities.

The law also excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from anti-discrimination protections and blocks municipalities from adopting their own anti-discrimination and living wage rules.

Victor Lytvinenko, a co-owner of the Raleigh Denim Store, said one of his retailers recently ended a contract, citing HB2.


The company makes handcrafted jeans, which are sold at high-end stores such as Saks 5th Avenue and Nordstrom.

"We spend 20 minutes talking about HB2 rather than building business," Lytvinenko said.


The principal supporter of HB2 addressed small business Wednesday afternoon. Gov. Pat McCrory spoke at a luncheon.

He praised the law as "common sense" and criticized Attorney General Roy Cooper for not defending his office or the UNC lawsuit in lawsuits.

"He needs to do his job that he holds right now," McCrory said as the crowd cheered.

McCrory and Cooper are running against each other in the governor's race.

Cooper thinks the law is a disaster for the economy and is discriminatory.

Read all ABC11 stories about HB2 here

"The logic in which he is not fulfilling (his duties) does not hold legal logic or political logic," McCrory said.

McCrory says a thousand new jobs have been created since he signed HB2 and the economy is on the upswing.

Bost feels differently.

She said, "If this keeps on and we don't get this bill repealed, we're going to continue to lose money."

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