NC Startups Speak Out Against HB2

April 14, 2016 3:50 PM

In response to the passage of House Bill 2, executives from Shoeboxed, Windsor Circle, HQ Raleigh, and other Triangle-based companies launched a website and formal petition rallying North Carolina startups to publicly denounce the legislation. In less than two weeks, the website gathered 206 public statements from small business leaders and the petition (launched a few days later)  gathered signatures from 170 entrepreneurs across North Carolina. The companies they represent have created a total of 2461 jobs in the state. 

The group plans to present these results to state government officials, demonstrating the North Carolina startup community’s solidarity and collective frustration against the bill. The petition states, “North Carolina continues to be on the top lists of best locations for startups to grow, but now with the passage of this bill, the opportunity for investment, talent recruitment and general business growth is put at risk.” Recent stats proving this sentiment include: 

Benefit Corporation will pull the B Corps Champions Retreat out of North Carolina, an event that draws attendees from a network of 1700 Certified B Corps around the globe. 

120+ national companies have barred business operations, suspended expansion, or stopped site searches in North Carolina. This list includes PayPal’s $3.6M center in Charlotte, Deutsche Bank’s 250-person expansion to Cary, and Google Ventures decision not to invest in any NC-based startups until the bill is repealed. 

In Wake County alone, the GRCVB estimates a loss of over $700K from four events pulling out of the county, with an estimated additional loss of nearly $24M if 16 other events decide to leave. 


The news isn’t slowing down. To date, HB2 has garnered 5356 national media hits totalling 8 billion media impressions. 

To view all 206 public statements visit: http://startups-against-hb2.com/ 
To view the formal petition visit: http://ow.ly/10EM3P


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Supporting Quotes
Christopher Gergen, Founding Partner, HQ.Community: “HB2 is having disastrous short-term effects that will negatively impact the state long-term. While the Governor is taking some steps to pull back, his actions don’t go far enough.  This solidarity with startups will help catalyze a conversation at the statewide level, which we hope will lead to a repeal and get our state back on track.” 

Joshua Smith, UX Director at Argyle Social in Durham: “By sharing that business is being purged from North Carolina on a large and small scale, we prove that discrimination has vast economic impacts on the business growth Pat McCrory supposedly champions.” 

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