It’s hard to keep up with all the economic losses North Carolina has incurred because of House Bill 2. Here’s a not-comprehensive but nonetheless alarming look at just a few of them.
• Greensboro Coliseum suffered nearly $200,000 in ticket losses this year (and part-time workers lost shifts) due to artist cancelations. Bruce Springsteen ($100,000), Cirque du Soleil ($68,000), and Boston ($20,000) all pulled out. Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr, Demi Lovato, and Nick Jonas have also canceled North Carolina appearances in protest of HB 2.
• Five states and more than a dozen municipalities have banned public employees from traveling to North Carolina on the taxpayers’ dime.
• The Washington Post reported recently that Asheville’s normally robust tourism industry is now looking at more than $1 million in decreased hotel bookings.
• Raleigh could lose as much as $40 million in convention business because of HB 2, with sixteen trade associations or corporate groups having canceled already and thirteen former prospects no longer in play.
• The Public Management Research Association Conference, originally scheduled in Chapel Hill for June 2017, was recently canceled thanks to HB 2, at a loss of at least $454,000. That’s the sixth time a conference in Orange County was nixed since HB 2 was passed in March. The Orange County Visitors Bureau estimates total hotel booking losses at around $1.2 million.
• In April, PayPal bailed on a planned $3.5 million Charlotte complex that would have employed four hundred people and paid out $20.7 million in salaries. You know why.
• Speaking of Charlotte, the city lost thirteen conventions and events because of HB 2. Plus, the 2017 NBA All-Star Game is not a sure thing. The NBA’s decision, which should come by the end of summer, will have a $100 million impact.
• Sixty-eight big companies, including United Airlines, General Electric, Dow Chemical, Microsoft, Apple, and Tumblr, signed an amicus brief in support of the U.S. Department of Justice request to block HB 2. The legislature has put aside $500,000 of taxpayer money to fight legal battles over the lawand it comes out of the state’s Emergency Response and Disaster Relief fund. Which, come to think of it, seems weirdly appropriate.