Tech firm to open new office with 700+ jobs in RVA instead of NC because of HB2
CoStar Group, a DC-based data firm, was shopping around new locations for a development hub along the East Coast and Richmond made the cut after North Carolina was nixed because of its anti-LGBTQ law.
Charlotte, which has become a tech-hub over the last few years, was leading the the pack, but Think Progress reported CoStar’s commercial real estate broker, David Dorsch, said the reason they bailed on that plan was because of HB2.
CoStar Group was itself, a bit mum, simply confirming the jobs were going to Richmond — and no expansions were planned anywhere else. But Dorsch was adamant that the jobs were another casualty of the discriminatory law. “The best thing we can do as citizens in North Carolina is to show up on Nov. 8 and think about which party is costing us jobs and which one is not.”
Today, on his weekly radio address on DC’s WTOP, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said HB2 was “crippling” to NC’s economy and believed it played a role in the tech firm’s decision. He used the opportunity to remind folks that he vetoed a “religious freedoms” bill which made it to his desk and had he or another Democrat not been in place, we could be facing the same criticism.
“We have a big governor’s race next year,” he said. “Now, if you have a Republican governor, they will sign those bills and it will be crippling to the Virginia economy.”
A Washington Post story is a bit more quiet on the reason Charlotte was denied the new location, but they did say RVA’s “higher education system, lower cost of living and a package of state and local incentives” all offered a sweet deal for the tech firm which plans to higher young grads from VCU to fill coding and development jobs.
The McAuliffe administration sweetened the deal by adding $4 million from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund, plus another $732,000 in workforce training dollars. The city of Richmond kicked in another $4 million in incentives and the company plans to rent out a 125,000-square-foot lease which will be the largest of the year for the city.
NC’s HB2, which forces transgender people to use the bathroom aligned with their birth certificate, not their gender identity, was hastily signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory earlier this year and has cost the state jobs from companies like PayPal and Deutsche Bank. Both the NCAA and the NBA have pulled games out of the state citing the law as the reason.
Several recent polls show McCrory dragging behind his Democratic rival and current state Attorney General Roy Cooper, with one showing Cooper with a 6 point lead. GOP nom Donald Trump, who has said he’d leave bathroom bills like this up to the states, could be adding to the drag on the ticket, though back in August, HB2 was a sticking point for the people of NC with 30% supporting it and 43% opposed.
HB2 to cost NC almost $4 billion over 12 years according to new AP report ahead of Richmond Federal Court hearing
About two months from a Richmond Federal Court hearing, a new Associated Press report shows North Carolina’s HB2, which forces trans people into the wrong bathroom and a limits city’s ability to add LGBTQ protections, could cost the Tar-heel State almost $4 billion over the next 12 years. The report, published in the Charlotte Observer, [...]March 27, 2017
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