The May 18 Focus article “How much has HB2 cost North Carolina?” highlighted the state Commerce Department’s discussions about the business impact of House Bill 2, the state’s new anti-LGBT law.
As small-business owners, we can confirm these concerns were spot on. The law is already having a negative effect on our state’s economy, and we’re worried about how it will affect small businesses.
For small businesses, profit is a primary concern, and we can’t turn a profit without loyal customers and talented employees. Unfortunately, HB2 is threatening to drive away consumers and workers from our state.
For instance, PayPal canceled an expansion in North Carolina that would have created 400 jobs in response to the law; similarly, major entertainers like Bruce Springsteen have canceled events here.
Small-business owners understand these consequences. Small Business Majority’s polling found 67 percent of North Carolina entrepreneurs believe there should be a state law prohibiting employment discrimination against gay and transgender people.
HB2 is hurting our entrepreneurs, and it’s important for us to let lawmakers know how we feel.
Chris Heavener and Sam Ratto
Owners, Videri Chocolate Factory