RALEIGH, N.C. — The economic impact of North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 continued to mushroom Tuesday, as Deutsche Bank announced it was freezing plans to create 250 jobs here and a top area economic development official said that five companies since early last week have canceled or postponed efforts to bring jobs to Wake County, the home of Raleigh.

“We’ve had some companies choose to suspend their site selection search in North Carolina and consequently in Wake County,” said Adrienne Cole, executive director of Wake County Economic Development. “Some have said they’re taking North Carolina off the list, others have said they’re postponing things to see what happens.”

The economic development projects included an IT company and a clean energy company and ranged in size from 75 jobs to one that could have brought 1,000 jobs to the region, she said.

Cole said that, after Deutsche Bank’s decision, she’s also worried about economic development projects that the area has already secured. The German bank in September announced plans to add 250 jobs in Cary, a city west of Raleigh, by the end of next year.

But it halted that expansion Tuesday, saying in a statement that HB2 “invalidated existing protections of the rights of gay, bisexual and transgender fellow citizens in some municipalities and prevents municipalities from adopting such protections in the future.”

“We take the commitment to building inclusive work environments seriously,” said John Cryan, Deutsche Bank’s co-CEO. “We’re proud of our operations and employees in Cary and regret that as a result of this legislation we are unwilling to include North Carolina in our US expansion plans for now. We very much hope to re-visit our plans to grow this location in the near future.”

Cole said the county worked last year to secure Deutsche Bank’s commitment. The bank’s DB Global Technology subsidiary is eligible to receive as much as $3.38 million in state incentives over 12 years if it achieves its job targets. The town of Cary also promised the company $104,000 in incentives. The new jobs were expected to pay an average salary of $85,600.

Deutsche Bank is the second major corporation to halt expansion plans in North Carolina because of HB2. Last week PayPal scrapped plans for a new Charlotte operations center that would have employed 400 people. Two other companies, Red Ventures and Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, have said they are re-evaluating expansion plans because of the law.

“We’re seeing drawbacks on things we’ve already achieved,” Cole said.


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