NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Almost three dozen big companies and more than 100 small businesses in Tennessee are predicting economic backlash from a newly enacted adoption state law and other proposals that target LGBT people.
A letter from the likes of Amazon, Nike and Nissan to state officials offers the most wide-spanning rebuke to date of the law signed by Republican Gov. Bill Lee.
Representatives from Dell, Warner Music Nashville, Postmates, Nashville Soccer Club spoke at a Nashville news conference announcing the letter.
A Postmates representative said the food delivery company might not go through with plans to add to its base of 650 employees in Nashville over the legislation.
Amazon broke ground on a new warehouse in Raleigh so, FOX13 wondered if there is any chance they will leave Memphis and abandon the plans for the warehouse.
In a statement to FOX13, an Amazon spokesperson said, “We have a long history of supporting equality and we’re opposed to laws that discriminate or encourage discrimination.”
The spokeswoman said they have nothing else to add at this time.
FOX13′s Leah Jordan dug deeper to find out how many times Amazon has pulled out of a project.
Amazon pulled out of a $3,000,000 deal to bring HQ2 to New York City. Amazon released a statement at that time, saying the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive relationships with state and local officials
Right now there’s no reason to believe construction will stop here or amazon will pull out of Memphis, but the company was elusive when it came to my questions about what their signature really means.
John Boyd is a site selection expert. He picks out where major corporations should relocate and expand to, so he’s a professional when it comes to the economic climate.
Boyd said there’s a record number of expansions and relocations here in 2020 so, this new bill really couldn’t be coming at a worse time for Tennessee.
“The danger is that bill 836 would put a lot of planned expansions or relocations in Tennessee on hold or perhaps Tennessee could lose these projects all together to a state more inclusive,” Boyd explained.
Boyd said bills like this bring on a business climate negative and described this as potentially similar to what North Carolina went through a few years ago with their highly controversial bathroom bill.
“Cities around the country are in a very intense competition to attract talent. So any type of legislation that’s viewed as burdensome to attracting the best talent is really a business climate negative,” Boyd said.
FOX13 reached out to the Nashville Predators, Tennessee Titans and Memphis Grizzles for comment. The Predators and Titans signed that letter, but the Grizzlies did not.
We also reached out to the NCAA, they famously boycotted North Carolina years ago for a similarly controversial bill.
© 2020 © 2020 Cox Media Group