North Carolina's discrimination law affects Charlotte's economy

NORTH CAROLINA — As fallout continues over HB2, Channel 9 is investigating the economic impact the bill is having on Charlotte.

Charlotte tourism sources told anchor Scott Wickersham on Friday that four groups canceled conventions because of HB2.

Nine were in talks but sources said they decided not to come to Charlotte.

Almost 30 more are on the fence because of HB2.

"I think businesses need to stay neutral on social issues," Gerard Henry, who is visiting Charlotte, told Channel 9.

"When it comes to these social issues that are near and dear to people's hearts let that remain in that arena," he said.

"There are a lot more people that share the values the Governor honored who would be more than willing to make Charlotte a focal point," Henry added.

For those four confirmed events, there would’ve been more than 1,100 nights booked at hotels.

For the groups considering, that would have been more than 1,200 rooms booked and for the hesitant groups that's nearly 90,000 rooms now hanging in the balance.

"When you're trying to build a city the last thing you want to do is keep people out of it, make people uncomfortable," John Park said. "As far as the city is concerned, as far as what they're losing out on, and how many jobs and how many people they're actually hurting, yea, I think they oughtta think about that. I think it's ludicrous, you know, costing the city money."

Cliff Jackson said regardless, companies not coming to Charlotte is a problem.

"The companies, them not coming in because of that, that's a problem," Jackson said.

Also Friday, musician Bruce Springsteen canceled his upcoming performance in Greensboro because of the House Bill 2 law, ABC News reported.

He was set to play Sunday.

The HB2 law requires people to use only those bathrooms matching their biological sex.

Springsteen said his cancellation was not about rock music, but about human rights.

“Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LBGT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace,” Springsteen said in a release. “No other group in North Carolinians face such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all our citizens to overturn progress.”

He cited many businesses and individuals that are against the bill.

He apologized to his fans for canceling his show, saying the fight against prejudice and bigotry is more important. Tickets will be refunded.

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