It’s an understatement to say there’s an elephant in the room when it comes to North Carolina economic development. So in addition to Business North Carolina’s annual list of biggest job-creating projects — which gives a very optimistic view — our July issue tackled the House Bill 2 debate by discussing the controversy with about 20 business and political leaders.
Among our findings:
- Projections of damage to the state economy due to HB2 — and concerns about the NBA pulling the league’s all star game are exaggerated, N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla says.
- Projections of damage to the state economy due to HB2 are very real and likely to cause long-term pain, veteran site-selection consultant Mac Holladay says.
- Charlotte overreached, and the N.C. General Assembly overreacted, political rainmaker Art Pope says.
- The Human Rights Coalition’s aggressive lobbying of large companies and state Democratic politicians helped block any compromise, Charlotte Regional Partnership President Ronnie Bryant says.
- Former UNC Chapel Hill Law School Dean Judith Wegner sent a hate-filled email to HB2 sponsor Dan Bishop, one of her former students.
- The issue will be settled by November’s election between HB2 backer Pat McCrory and HB2 opponent Roy Cooper, Skvarla says.