The boycotts and cancelled proposals from businesses and performers seems to be growing daily for the state of North Carolina, and the amount of money lost so far is also escalating rather quickly.
According to the agency that promotes tourism in the Raleigh, North Carolina area, the anti-LGBT law has lost the city a staggering $3.1 million. The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau spoke to the local media this week, saying how the economic losses have quadrupled just in the past week.
Last week, the reported loss was $2.4m, which in itself was up from $732,000 the week before that. By the time Monday rolled around this week, the losses had reached $3.1 million.
It’s pretty public knowledge how horrible the anti-LGBT bill, HB2, is. Despite small amendments to it, it is still highly discriminatory against transgender people and forces them to use the bathroom correlating with their birth gender.
The president and CEO of the Raleigh Visitors Bureau, Dennis Edwards, had this to say: “We continue to receive concerns from definite and tentative groups regarding HB2. We also have a great deal of concern about those groups that were going to consider Raleigh and North Carolina but have now taken us off of their list of consideration due to the bill.”
Previously, Edwards had spoken to The Guardian about the loss of revenue for Raleigh, saying how he had lost six firm bookings worth about $2.4 million. Hardly chump change. He also said that another 16 bookings, worth roughly $44m total, are at risk. So the bill for Raleigh – and the state of North Carolina – will only continue to rise.
At the moment, the biggest cancellation they have suffered is from the Community Transportation Association of America. They previously had plans to bring 1,000 people to the city in 2018, but with the event now taking place in Baltimore, that is $1.7m lost.
It’s not only Raleigh feeling the sting of the anti-LGBT law. The second largest county in the state, Wake County, has been especially effected as it is home to the PNC arena. As we know, there have been some very public (not to mention big name) cancellations from bands such as Pearl Jam.
Pearl Jam posted a hand written statement on their Facebook page, which reads: “The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are.”
They have joined the ranks of Cirque du Soleil, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr, who have all cancelled performances in NC over the law. Also, PayPal cancelled plans to open a new operation centre in the state, resulting in the loss of 400 jobs. Deutsche Bank also cancelled expansion plans, which were expected to bring in 250 jobs.
These losses for the state of North Carolina are harder to quantify, but NBC has estimated that the state has lost any where between $39.7m and $186m in revenue.