Business leaders, who were among the most vocal opponents of HB2, were working behind the scenes to coordinate the legislative effort that led to Thursday’s replacement bill.
Ned Curran, a Charlotte developer, spent the week in Raleigh promoting the deal as negotiations went up to the last minute.
“A small group of business people were asked to participate,” Curran said.
He knows that the deal has opponents on the left and right, but said it was the state’s “last, best” option to get HB2 off the books and is optimistic that more companies will now expand or relocate to North Carolina.
Throughout the day on Thursday, companies across the state had worked to apply pressure on North Carolina lawmakers to repeal the bill as the state faced a deadline that could determine whether it lost more college sporting events.
The NCAA had said the state could lose championship events through 2022 if legislators didn’t address HB2 by midday Thursday.
The Greater Raleigh Chamber, the North Carolina Chamber and the Charlotte Chamber all lauded lawmakers’ efforts to find a bipartisan solution for HB2, and encouraged lawmakers to support House Bill 142, the repeal compromise bill.
Deutsche Bank, the German company, halted its plans to create an additional 250 jobs in Cary because of its opposition to HB2. The company declined to comment on the compromise bill.
Credit Suisse, a major Triangle employer whose assessment of the state’s business climate could impact its ongoing reevaluation of its worldwide office sites, took an upbeat view of Thursday’s legislative efforts.
“We are pleased with the progress being made on this issue and we are continuing to watch developments closely,” Credit Suisse spokeswoman Karina Byrne wrote in an email Thursday before Gov. Roy Cooper announced he had signed the bill.
A Credit Suisse spokeswoman said earlier this month that the Swiss financial services company was “in the midst of a firm-wide global reevaluation of our real estate properties,” including the company’s RTP campus as well as offices in New York and Princeton, N.J. Credit Suisse has 1,700 employees in RTP.
Gov. Roy Cooper told CBS North Carolina earlier this month that a financial firm, which he didn’t identify, was interested in bringing 1,500 jobs with starting annual salaries of $100,000 to North Carolina, but that the company was concerned about the impact of House Bill 2.
Credit Suisse has declined to say whether it’s contemplating expanding in RTP.
Not every company backs the new bill. McKinney, a Durham advertising agency with an office in New York, said it opposes the proposal.
“As a national agency with a global creative reputation, McKinney’s success depends upon attracting the best talent and clients to Durham. This new bill continues to stand in the way of that and its impact extends to our office in New York. We stand against discrimination in North Carolina,” CEO Brad Brinegar said in a statement.