Since passing the anti-LGBT law HB2 last month, North Carolina has seen the backlash immediately. In the last few weeks, over a thousand jobs have been moved out of the state. More than 100 companies have expressed outrage as well, warning that they may move or cancel their plans to expand within the state entirely. Estimates have put the cost to North Carolina in the millions of dollars.
Unfortunately for the people of North Carolina, it keeps getting worse.
According to The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), Charlotte has lost 13 conventions, with four definite cancellations and nine more possibly lost. Local NBC affiliate WNCN says this is entirely because of HB2, which Republicans forced through the General Assembly and was signed by Governor McCrory in under 12 hours.
In addition to the 13 conventions withholding their economy stimulating business from Charlotte, there are roughly 30 other groups that may no longer bring their business to the city, which has people worried.
WNCN’s Xavier Walton offered specifics on what exactly HB2 has cost the economy of Charlotte, which includes over $8 million in hotel room bookings alone. This figure does not include meals, sightseeing, transportation, and other expenses, meaning that HB2 is costing the taxpayers of North Carolina untold millions of dollars.
— Xavier Walton (@xmanwalton) April 8, 2016
Xavier added that just the loss of hotel stays from events and tourism groups amounts to roughly a $8.9 million lost.
Aside from this, artists and companies who would have bolstered the economy are fleeing the Tar Heel State left and right. Bruce Springsteen cancelled a North Carolina show, and Paypal is cancelling a $3.6 million expansion in the state which would have created hundreds of jobs. The TV studio Lionsgate just cancelled shooting a new Hulu comedy in North Carolina, instead sending roughly 100 jobs to Canada. These are not even the only economy boosters choosing to cancel or take their business elsewhere entirely due to HB2.
Even in the face of this outrage, Governor McCrory continues to defend the bill.
“We have not taken away any rights that have currently existed in any city in North Carolina, from Raleigh to Durham to Chapel Hill to Charlotte. Every city and every corporation has the exact same discrimination policy this week as they had two weeks ago.”
HB2, which eliminates legal protections for LGBT individuals who have faced discrimination in North Carolina, and was snuck through the General Assembly in half a day, will continue to cost the people of North Carolina millions.