Backlash from the business community against the North Carolina anti-LGBT law has grown significantly in the last few days. The bill, which would prevent municipalities and other local authorities from instituting nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents trans people from using public bathrooms that align with their gender, was controversially introduced, passed, and signed into law within a matter of hours last week.
On Tuesday, a group of 80 business leaders from local and national companies, including Airbnb, IBM, Intel, Levi’s, Marriott, and Salesforce, signed an open letter condemning the new law and calling on its repeal. A number of companies including American Airlines, Dow Chemical, and Bank of America, which is headquartered in Charlotte, have already spoken out against the law.
Organizer’s of the Piedmont Triad area’s High Point Market, a furniture expo that generates more than $5 billion in economic impact and draws more than 600,000 people to the state, have said the negative attention around the law will likely reduce attendance numbers by the thousands and cause “significant economic damage” to the expo and state. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, moreover, has warned that conventions have already become wary of holding events in Charlotte. Said Tom Murray, President and CEO of the organization, “on behalf of the visitor economy that represents one in nine jobs across the Charlotte region, we strongly urge that state and local leaders find a resolution.”