Friday, March 31, 2017

Business Leaders and Organizations Share Statements on House Bill 2 Repeal

<p>Yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper signed into law House Bill 142, bipartisan legislation that initiated a full repeal of House Bill 2.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Mar 31, 2017

Yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper signed into law House Bill 142, bipartisan legislation that initiated a full repeal of House Bill 2. 

“I agree with many business leaders and major organizations that while this compromise legislation is far from perfect, it gets House Bill 2 off our books so that we can move forward,” Governor Cooper said. “This is the first major step in a continued fight for statewide antidiscrimination protections.”

A fact sheet on the repeal of House Bill 2 is available here

Statements from business leaders and major organizations are available below:

As reported by the Associated Press: The Atlantic Coast Conference is ready to start holding events again in North Carolina after the state rolled back a law that limited protections for LGBT people. In a statement Friday, the league said its Council of Presidents has voted to again consider North Carolina sites to host events.

Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat: “Red Hat applauds the bipartisan effort that led to the passage of HB142 in North Carolina, which represents important progress in fostering inclusiveness, economic growth, and jobs creation. Red Hat remains committed to greater diversity and inclusion to strengthen the fabric of our company, community, and state.”

"Carolinas HealthCare System respects diversity and opposes discrimination in all forms. We appreciate the bipartisan efforts to reach a compromise on this issue and are dedicated to continued progress for our teammates, patients, communities and region."

“Our consistent view has been that the repeal of HB2 is the best policy for NC. We support this bipartisan measure to repeal HB2 and create the conditions for continued dialogue and progress.”

“The Charlotte Executive Leadership Council applauds the elected officials from both parties who worked together on HB142. This is an important step forward in strengthening the health of our state’s economy.”

Brad Wilson, President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina: “I commend Gov. Cooper, House Speaker Moore, and Senator Berger for achieving a bipartisan compromise that enables North Carolina to move past HB2 and restore our state’s reputation. North Carolina is stronger today because the two parties worked together.”

Ric Elias, CEO of technology and marketing company Red Ventures, as reported by the Charlotte Business Journal: "I believe our state has real issues — we have economic issues, mobility issues, tolerance issues. We have discrimination issues — we don’t have a bathroom issue.”

“We appreciate the members of the General Assembly and governor who worked hard to put the best interests of North Carolina first by passing and enacting House Bill 142.”

SAS Software: As a NC company that supports diversity, SAS applauds the bipartisan effort to repeal HB2 and promote the growth & prosperity of NC.

“Novant Health is proud to embody a culture of diversity and inclusion and expects the states in which we operate to do the same. We appreciate the bipartisan efforts to reach a compromise on this issue and hope dialogue continues.”

Credit Suisse spokeswoman Karina Byrne, as reported by the Raleigh News and Observer: “We are pleased with the progress being made on this issue and we are continuing to watch developments closely.”

As reported by the Raleigh News and Observer: “We are pleased that the legislature has moved to reverse a misguided law that has caused significant harm to the state of North Carolina. This compromise is far from perfect. We continue to urge the governor and members of the legislature to find common ground that ensures equal protection under the law for every member of our community.”

“This is a good day for the state and a positive step forward—specifically for the students, faculty and staff of the University of North Carolina—and we applaud our elected officials for the bipartisan manner in which they brokered this compromise. With today’s action and our continuing commitment to equal access and opportunity for all, we have every expectation that, once again, the University will be able to host national athletic events and professional conferences as we have for years.”

Lynn Minges, president and chief executive, North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association: "NCRLA commends Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore, members of the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Roy Cooper for their work and leadership on the bipartisan compromise to repeal HB 2. This issue has been one of the most divisive in our state’s history, and we are thrilled to put this chapter behind us. North Carolina is a state that welcomes all, and the North Carolina hospitality industry looks forward to doing just that."

“NCTIA believes House Bill 142 is a bipartisan first step in solving a complex issue that has divided North Carolina communities and negatively impacted many employees in the hospitality and leisure industry.”
“While we understand House Bill 142 is in no way perfect, we are encouraged that policymakers from all sides found common political ground, repealed a divisive bathroom access law, and are willing to continue working together to protect North Carolina's 211,000 employees in the tourism industry.”

From the Triad Business Journal: “I’m just thrilled to be back in the game,” said Kim Strable, president of the Greensboro Sports Commission. “We just want to serve our citizens and be able to compete, and that was a hurdle keeping that from happening.” Strable, who said his non-profit organization tried to remain “non-political,” said the consequences may have been irreparable if the new bill hadn’t been enacted. “It was a five-year deal,” said Strable. “That’s a long time to lose those events and those relationships.”

Greensboro Coliseum: “The Greensboro Coliseum Complex is excited about our potential future booking opportunities now that N.C. House Bill 2 has been repealed. We will immediately begin the process of contacting all of the organizations – including the NCAA, ACC and Cirque du Soleil – that canceled previously scheduled events due to HB2 to make sure they are aware of this change in legislation. We will also contact all of the concert promoters we work with on a regular basis to ensure that all of the musical artists they represent including Bruce Springsteen and Boston, who canceled previously scheduled concerts in Greensboro due to HB2, are also aware of the repeal.”

“All of the organizations/promoters/artists that canceled events in Greensboro have previously indicated they would be open to returning after the repeal of HB2. We look forward to welcoming them back and continuing to provide an outstanding variety of live entertainment options for residents of the Piedmont Triad.”

Lew Ebert, president and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber: “The North Carolina Chamber thanks House and Senate leadership and the Governor for coming together on a bipartisan basis to find a solution, we encourage members of the House and Senate to support House Bill 142.”

“The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce would like to thank Governor Roy Cooper, Senator Phil Berger and Speaker Tim Moore for their leadership in providing a solution for North Carolina to move forward. We endorse HB142 and encourage all members of the Mecklenburg Legislative Delegation and the entire General Assembly to support it.”

Greensboro Chamber: “The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce supports the bipartisan efforts to repeal HB2.”

“We thank the leadership in the NC General Assembly and the Governor for working out a solution, and we encourage members of the House and Senate to support HB142 when it comes up for a vote today.”

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce: “The Asheville Chamber is pleased to learn of the passage of HB142, which repeals HB2, and removes vestiges of institutionalized discrimination from our state statutes. We are encouraged at the bipartisan support of the bill and want to thank Governor Roy Cooper, Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger and Speaker Tim Moore for their efforts. While not perfect, this bill allows us to get back to business as a region and state, as we look towards the future and a more welcoming business environment.”

Katie Tyler, Founder, Tyler 2 Construction: “Tyler 2 Construction is strongly in support of the proposed compromise agreement repealing HB2. My Company, our Community and our State have been negatively impacted by this bill and the resulting economic development setbacks. We encourage our House and Senate members to endorse HB142 as written. The leadership of Governor Cooper, Speaker Moore and Senator Berger in developing HB142 is acknowledged and appreciated. Let’s get NC back to business!”

“Our business, like many others, has been directly affected by HB2 with the loss of significant relocation prospects, including CoStar, a client of our firm. Costar’s relocation to Charlotte would have been a significant project for our city and state, and an economic driver within the real estate industry amongst others. As a firm, we do not stand for discrimination of any kind. HB2 must be repealed and we support a compromise that would allow this to happen, sooner rather than later, before our business continues to take on significant losses.”

Clay Grubb, CEO of Charlotte development firm Grubb Properties: "HB2 has been costly to our business and much of North Carolina. I am proud that Republicans and Democrats were able to work together, the way North Carolina's elected officials have in the past, to come up with a solution that will allow us to regain our reputation as a state that is welcoming to all and a great place to live and work."

As reported by the Winston-Salem Journal: NAIOP North Carolina, a commercial real-estate development association, on Thursday “strongly urged” legislators from both parties to embrace HB142 “as a bipartisan solution that repeals HB2 and allows our state to recover from the economic damage suffered over the past year.” The group said that since HB2 was signed into law in 2016 by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, “North Carolina and its commercial real-estate industry has suffered millions in lost revenue from taxes, leases and fees, as dozens of economic-development prospects have passed over our state because of this law.”

Abhishek Mehta, CEO and co-founder of Tresata, as reported by the Charlotte Business Journal: “It’s about time we as a state start focusing on real issues and be known for the innovation and the entrepreneurship versus our politics.”

Robert Stevanovski, Chairman of ACN: “We are pleased North Carolina's leaders came together to make this compromise and repeal HB2. This measure makes North Carolina more welcoming and allows the state to move forward.”

Greg Brown, administrator of Charlotte Angel Fund, as reported by the Charlotte Business Journal: “The impending repeal of HB2 is a relief for businesses in Charlotte and throughout our state. The law's detrimental impact to our economy has been significant and completely unnecessary. Hopefully our leaders will be more thoughtful about economic consequences when considering future measures.”

John Espey, CEO and co-founder of Levvel, as reported by the Charlotte Business Journal: "We are pleased that the law has been repealed. A lot of damage has already been done nationally and internationally to Charlotte's reputation because of this legislation, but it is better late than never for our state legislators to undo this silly self-inflicted wound."

Chad Stachowicz, CEO and founder of Cloverhound, as reported by the Charlotte Business Journal: "I am really happy to see bi-partisan action being taken to resolve issues in this state. It's easy to want everything but it's hard to compromise and it shows the need for everyone, regardless of political affiliation, to work together. HB2 was an unnecessary burden on N.C. and Charlotte's economy especially, which by the way is one of the best cities to start a tech company without high overhead and still able to attract amazing talent. We can be competitive again and that makes me smile."

Jon West, CEO, co-founder of AddShoppers, as reported by the Charlotte Business Journal: "I hope companies are once again attracted to Charlotte's quality of life. Startups are inherently progressive and look towards the future. Our city and state have a lot to offer all people and it's what should be displayed on the national stage."

From the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (visitRaleigh) and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA): “We appreciate the efforts of the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Cooper to find a solution today in passing HB 142. We are cautiously optimistic that this will ease the concerns of our clients/groups that have expressed concern over holding events in Raleigh and Wake County.”

“As for the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (visitRaleigh) and Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA), we will continue our ongoing efforts to sell and market Raleigh as the thriving Southern capital city that it is, one shaped by the passionate minds of its inclusive and welcoming residents.”

-Dennis Edwards, President and CEO
Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Raleigh)

-Scott Dupree, Executive Director
Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA)