Raleigh Chamber calls HB2 ‘bad for business’

Raleigh Chamber calls HB2 ‘bad for business’

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) - The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce called for the repeal of House Bill 2 on Tuesday, throwing its weight behind the rising opposition to the law.

On the same day, a federal court in Richmond, Virginia, struck down a policy at a Virginia high school that bans a transgender student from using the boys' restroom.

Also Tuesday, Elon University released a poll saying Attorney General Roy Cooper had widened his lead on Gov. Pat McCrory in the race for governor.

House Bill 2 has had some high-profile detractors, with rock bands like Pearl Jam and Boston announcing Monday that they would not perform in North Carolina.

But Tuesday's announcement by the Greater Raleigh Chamber ratcheted up the intense conversation about the bill, with the Chamber saying in a strongly worded statement that House Bill 2 had had cost Wake County hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in lost revenue

"This legislation is bad for business and bad for North Carolina," the Chamber said.

"HB2 has already harmed business growth in Wake County and the state of North Carolina's reputation," the Chamber said. "This legislation is a threat to our mission as an organization devoted to growing our region's economy. Our state has been represented negatively in more than 5,300 media outlets across the United States with nearly 8 billion impressions.

"In Wake County, we have lost 250 committed jobs from Deutsche Bank, as well as a technology company that was considering the creation of up to 1,000 jobs in our region. Several other companies have eliminated us from consideration explicitly citing this bill. Our Convention and Visitors Bureau is reporting over $3.2 million in lost revenues, and much more is at risk."

The Chamber has more 2,300 member firms and represents two-thirds of the private sector employment in Wake County.

The Chamber's reaction intensified the economic concerns about House Bill 2. And new legal questions about the bill were raised Tuesday in Virginia as well as the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the Gloucester County School Board's policy on transgender bathrooms. A federal judge had previously rejected Gloucester High School student Gavin Grimm's sex discrimination claim.

The school policy had required Grimm to use the girls' restroom.

McCrory told reporters he would review the decision with attorneys.