New Bern business owner speaks out about effects of HB2

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – Across the state, a number of business owners say HB2 is still impacting their business.

One of them is right here in Eastern North Carolina. A local business owner shared his story with 9 On Your Side about how the law is affecting his income. He says one thing should be at the top of the lawmakers’ to-do list.

“The first thing that they should do is repeal HB2,” said Roy Smith, owner of Southern Boundaries. For Smith, it’s not about personal opinions or political agendas. He just wants to keep his business open. “In my businesses, one client matters, everybody matters.”

Smith, who owns Southern Boundaries, a land surveying company in New Bern, said just a few weeks ago a potential client backed out. They didn’t want to do business in the state of North Carolina.

Smith attributes that to HB2.

“He wanted nothing to do with a state that practices discrimination is the way I took it,” said Smith. “It’s a little bit hard to explain why my government would be doing what they’re doing which is taking work away from me.”

Other New Bern business owners 9 On Your Side spoke to aren’t feeling the same effects.

“Tourism is on the rise here. Our leisure travel continues to be steady. We have a lot of groups coming in May,” said Mary McGee, of the New Bern Convention Center. She said it’s business as usual.

As for Smith, he just hopes one client backing out doesn’t become a trend.

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