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From Home Furnishing Business

Study: High Point Market Has $5.4 Billion Impact

A study of High Point Furniture Market's economic impact on North Carolina and the Triad region should go a long way to ensure continued state funding for the event.

The leaders of the team producing the report, Lukas Brun, senior research analyst at Duke University's Center on Globalization, Government & Competitiveness; and William Lester, assistant professor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Department of City and Regional Planning, presented the study's findings at a press breakfast sponsored by the American Home Furnishings Alliance on Saturday at Market.

The study found that Market has a total economic impact of $5.4 billion. That includes 37,616 jobs and labor income of $1.5 billion. Visitor spending accounted for $604 million. Market Authority spending totaled $7.6 million; and vendor spending came to $451.6 million.

The report also found that Market generates $212.7 million in state and local taxes; and $326.9 million in federal taxes.

High Point Market Authority Chairman and Vaughan-Bassett Furniture President Doug Bassett said government funding accounts for $1.8 million of the Authority's $5 million annual budget. State funding for the event came under threat in Governor Pat McCrory's proposed budget earlier this year, but was re-inserted after the industry demonstrated a high return on that investment.

"For every dollar the city of High Point and Guilford County puts into this Market, they get $16 in taxes," Bassett said. "The state gets a 66-fold return."

State Representative John Faircloth said he wished he'd had the study in hand when state funding was threatened.

"In talking with other (legislators), they'd heard about the Market, but many of them had never been here," he said. "This (study) will encourage their support of funding. This is not an incentive, it's an investment in a major business for North Carolina."

Bassett noted that the state at one time had provided as much as $3 million to support Market.

"Frankly, we're satisfied with the $1.8 million commitment we had this year," he said. "Our plan going into next year is to just ask for the amount of funding provided this year. If we know the number and that it's a stable number, we're fine with that."

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