Raleigh City Council supports Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce calls for repeal of HB2

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Chamber of Commerce

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce is calling for the repeal of HB2 saying the law is bad for business and bad for North Carolina.

The highly-controversial law has caused businesses to cancel expansion in the state, affected travel to the state, and prompted well-known musical acts to cancel performances.

In a statement, the Chamber said the "legislation is a threat to our mission as an organization devoted to growing our region's economy."

At a Raleigh City Council meeting, Mayor Nancy McFarlane and the council expressed their support for the Chamber's opposition and called for changes to the law.

"Raleigh's legislative team has been and will continue to work hard in the North Carolina legislature to change HB2," said McFarlane. "It is important that the nation and the state understand that HB2 does not reflect Raleigh's values and does not change our culture of acceptance, inclusiveness, and diversity."

Watch video of Raleigh Mayor McFarlane's statement during a council meeting:

Mayor Nancy McFarlane spoke at a city council meeting Tuesday

HB2 was passed in a special session of the General Assembly and quickly signed by Governor Pat McCrory 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 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.

The Chamber's statement pointed to the loss of "250 committed jobs from Deutsche Bank, as well as a technology company that was considering the creation of up to 1,000 jobs in our region. Several other companies have eliminated us from consideration, explicitly citing this bill. Our Convention and Visitors Bureau is reporting over $3.2 million in lost revenues, and much more is at risk."

It listed some of the ways the state economy has been hit by the law:

  • PayPal: $44 million and 400 jobs
  • Deutsche Bank: $9 million and 250 jobs
  • Technology company expansion to Wake County: up to 1,000 jobs
  • Technology company expansion in Buncombe County: $14.3 million
  • Lionsgate relocated pilot series from North Carolina: 100 jobs
  • Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Boston, and Pearl Jam: concerts canceled
  • Cirque du Soleil: canceled North Carolina performances
  • Charlotte hotel revenue lost from canceled or relocated events: $2.2 million
  • Raleigh canceled, relocated, or scaled-back events: $3.2 million
  • Google Ventures, which invests $2.4 billion in start-up ventures: will not invest in North Carolina start-ups
  • City or state governments instituting travel bans to North Carolina: 16

The Chamber also listed additional economic development projects and conventions are at risk pending repeal of HB2, including:

  • Braeburn Pharmaceuticals: $27.6 million
  • Red Ventures job expansion
  • NCAA events (basketball, soccer, track, and more)
  • High Point Market economic activity
  • Charlotte hotel revenue from potential relocated events: $15.3 million
  • 16 events in Raleigh at risk of being canceled: $28 million in visitor spending

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