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NC Economy Booms Despite Bathroom-Bill Boycott

NC Economy Booms Despite Bathroom-Bill Boycott

Although North Carolina was “punished” by multiple organizations in defiance of its bathroom bill, the state’s economy is thriving.

The NBA All-Star Game, the NCAA championships, and even Bruce Springsteen decided to change the venues of their events from being in NC as a response to the heavily contested transgender bathroom law. 

Those who argued that the bill would hurt the state’s economy were evidently wrong.

North Carolina Lieutenant Gov. Dan Forest said this month that the boycott impacted “less than one-tenth of 1 percent” of its annual GDP.

The NC tourism industry had a successful 2016. The high demand for rooms, increased room rates, according to a recent report by VisitNC, which is part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.  

Room rates jumped by 3.6% in 2016 compared to the year before.

Even though PayPal decided to cancel its expansion into the state by calling off plans to open a new global operations center in NC, other companies were not detoured by the House Bill 2.  

North Carolina ranked fourth in the country for attracting new business. 289 new major projects were in the works in 2016, making the state seventh (same placement as 2015) in projects per capita– according to Site Selection magazine.

Then back in November, NC was named No. 2 in the nation for business culture by Forbes and Site Selection magazine.  

“Also unscathed was the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which registered at 5.3 percent in January 2016 and 5.3 percent in January 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” writes The Washington Times.

“The figures released almost exactly a year after the bill’s passage appear to fly in the face of predictions of economic doom made by opponents of HB2. The Center for American Progress estimated in April that the state would lose more than $567 million in private-sector economic activity through 2018.”

Although these numbers prove that the state’s economy is booming, Chris Sgro, former Democratic state legislator and LGBT rights leader, argues that these numbers would have been much more impressive without the bathroom bill in place.

“It is a universally agreed-upon fact at this point that HB2 is hurting the state of North Carolina economically,” said Sgro.

Gov. Roy Cooper expressed similar sentiments.

“We have vibrant cities like where I live in Greensboro with innovative leaders like my mayor that are going to continue to work to attract, recruit and retain business,” said Cooper. “At the same time, it is incredibly clear to everybody that HB2 has done a detriment to the state of North Carolina. We would be doing drastically better economically if this discriminatory law wasn’t on the books.” 

But again, the economic impact has been proven to be miniscule. This is just a narrative in support of repealing the bathroom bill.

“Suffice it to say, our economy is doing well,” said Forest. “Don’t be fooled by the media; this issue is not about the economy. This issue is about privacy, safety and security in the most vulnerable places we go. This is about doing the right thing. And I will never trade the privacy, safety and security of a woman or a child for a basketball ticket, and neither should you.”

Forest also mentioned that it was actually the NBA that took a hit and had “the lowest ticket sales” in All-Star Game history in 2016.

“So they lost money comparatively to what they would have made in Charlotte,” said Forest. “The other one was the ACC championship football game that’s been hosted year over year. They moved it to Orlando and had the lowest attendance in history, again losing money.”

Author’s note: So, the bathroom boycott has been proven to be unsuccessful on multiple fronts. Shouldn’t the state be more concern about protecting its citizens than having the economy improve by whopping one-tenth of 1%? 

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