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Charlotte’s PayPal Loss Could Be Cleveland’s Gain

PayPal took a stance last week against North Carolina: It won't be moving into Charlotte.

For a quick refresher, the decision came down to North Carolina’s law that strikes down existing LGBT nondiscrimination statutes surrounding how transgendered people can and cannot use certain bathrooms. And that decision by the North Carolina state legislature and governor cost the state around 400 jobs and a $3.6 million expansion.

Now, Cleveland is trying to grab a piece of that.

"Your company's withdrawal from North Carolina is a testament to PayPal's values. The City of Cleveland shares those same values. We would like to invite you and your site selection committee to visit Cleveland and consider this welcoming city as an alternative location for PayPal's global operations center," reads a letter from Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, according to a local news network that provided the letter.

It goes on to pitch why Cleveland would be a good fit.

"As the host of the 2014 Gay Games, Cleveland is a city that proudly flies the pride flag above Cleveland City Hall. In addition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Clinic and one of the largest sources of fresh water in the world, Cleveland had more amenities than can fit on this page ... The region gained nearly 7,000 more millennia[l]s with a college degree. Cleveland was tied for eighth in the nation with Seattle and Miami in the percent gain of college-degreed young adults."

CEO Dan Schulman’s post focused on him expressing regret that PayPal cannot have the chance to be part of the Charlotte community, but he said the company is standing firm against the state’s decision to allow discrimination of any type, which impacts the equal rights laws that his company strongly abides by.

“While we will seek an alternative location for our operations center, we remain committed to working with the LGBT community in North Carolina to overturn this discriminatory legislation, alongside all those who are committed to equality,” he wrote last week. “We will stand firm in our commitment to equality and inclusion and our conviction that we can make a difference by living and acting on our values. It’s the right thing to do for our employees, our customers and our communities.”

So, who will win out? Charlotte? Cleveland? Somewhere else.

We'll keep you posted.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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