Cooper makes progress on jobs withheld during HB2 boycotts – but at a cost
The fallout over House Bill 2 – both political and economic – was a major theme of Roy Cooper's successful 2016 campaign for governor.
The Democrat made several specific promises while running for governor about HB2, including that he would "work to bring back those jobs lost because of HB2," during high-profile corporate boycotts.
PayPal pulled 400 jobs from Charlotte, Deutsche Bank pulled 250 jobs from Cary, real estate analytics firm CoStar Group pulled 730 jobs from Charlotte, and numerous canceled concerts, conferences and more kept plenty of people searching for new gigs.
There were also some companies already in North Carolina that said they would hold off on future job expansions as long as HB2 remained on the books. One of those was Credit Suisse, an international bank with about 1,500 workers in Research Triangle Park. After HB2 passed, according to the Triangle Business Journal, Credit Suisse executives began rethinking plans to nearly double the size of the local workforce.
But in March, Cooper worked with GOP legislative leaders to pass a partial repeal of HB2. (We then rated that separate promise of Cooper's as a Compromise.)
About a month later, Credit Suisse announced it would add 1,200 new jobs to its RTP operations.
The company's vice chairman, Winston Ervin, credited the jobs announcement to the deal Cooper and the legislature cut.
There was another big factor, too: The state government agreed to give Credit Suisse $40 million in tax breaks as long as it upholds its end of the bargain about job-creation and property investments. The bank promised to create $75 million worth of taxable property and said its 1,200 jobs would have an average salary of more than $100,000 a year.
Another smaller jobs announcement, of 130 new jobs in Cary through software company Trilliant Networks, was also credited to the HB2 partial repeal.
According to the News & Observer, the compromise "figured into Trilliant Networks' decision last month to move its global headquarters from Silicon Valley to Cary." Those jobs will also reportedly pay an average of more than $100,000 a year.
Cooper still hasn't been able to convince every company that boycotted North Carolina over HB2 to change its mind. And the Credit Suisse announcement took not just the repeal of HB2, but also tens of millions of dollars in publicly funded incentives. But there is some progress afoot.
We rate this promise In The Works.
The News & Observer, May 9, 2017, "With HB2 gone, Credit Suisse adding 1,200 workers in the Triangle"
PolitiFact North Carolina, Oct. 28, 2016, "Top North Carolina economic official says HB2 has not harmed the state economy"
Triangle Business Journal, "North Carolina's HB2 repeal could mean 1,000-plus new Credit Suisse jobs in RTP, sources say"
The News & Observer, March 30, 2017, "HB2 off the books as Gov. Roy Cooper signs compromise into law"
PolitiFact North Carolina, Coop-O-Meter update, "HB2 is gone, but some controversial parts of it still live on"