From Home Furnishing Business
Senate Candidate Pays Market Visit
North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, whose support was key in restoring funding for High Point Furniture Market to the state's budget, visited with industry backers of his campaign for a U.S. Senate seat at Market this morning.
During a session with industry press, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture President Doug Bassett, pointed out that Tillis "gets" the furniture industry's impact on and value to the North Carolina economy. High Point Market Authority CEO Tom Conley noted that an economic impact study last year determined the event had a statewide yearly impact of $5.4 billion.
"On behalf of the furniture industry and the High Point Market, we want to thank you for securing funding in Raleigh for the High Point Market," Bassett said.
Ashley Furniture Chairman Ron Wanek said Tillis has helped make North Carolina a better place to do business.
"The climate has definitely changed, and we appreciate it," Wanek said, noting that Ashley had some unpleasant regulatory surprises when it started building out on a major manufacturing and distribution facility in Davie County. "A lot of state building codes had gotten way out of whack. This (state) administration, and this house and senate have relaxed some of those regulations. … As we got into this project, it sometimes took us months even to get an interpretation on a requirement."
Tillis said his support of the Market and moderation of regulation is based on "compelling economic reasons."
"We should be beating a path to your door to make it easier to do business" in North Carolina, he said. "I believe (furniture) can be a growth industry for this state."
When a Republican administration backed with a Republican legislative majority took control in Raleigh, Tillis said limiting regulations were an even greater priority than cutting taxes.
"The regulatory over-reach was the thing we needed to get our hands around first," he said. "It's the regulatory burden that slows things down in terms of job creation more than the tax burden."