Small businesses in North Carolina are already beginning to feel the negative economic impacts of HB 2, according to reports from the Associated Press. Firms are starting to struggle with negative tourism and convention changes, and to face recruitment and retention challenges. According to Michael Westcott, the owner of a working farm that caters to tourists, the law “casts a negative shadow over North Carolina.”
Businesses reliant on the $21 billion travel industry have been particularly hit by the controversy around HB 2. The owner of a restaurant near the Raleigh Convention Center told reporters that he loses between 10 and 20 percent of business when events are cancelled. According to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, 12 events have been cancelled due to HB 2, and over 30 more groups are considering convention plans.
The new legislation has also had a negative effect on employers’ recruitment and retention efforts. Keil Jansen, the owner of Ponysaurus Brewing Co., said that he worries that hires with experience in the beer market may be drawn to seemingly more progressive states like Colorado.