McCrory will attend market
Gov. Pat McCrory will visit the High Point Market for the first time as governor later this week, including a meeting with furniture industry officials who recently lobbied him to reverse course on a plan to cut state funding for the furniture market.
McCrory, who grew up in Jamestown, will visit the spring High Point Market on opening day Saturday. He will attend a private meeting from noon to 12:45 p.m. and talk with 42 furniture industry leaders who recently sent McCrory a letter in support of funding for the High Point Market Authority.
“We appreciate the governor taking time out of his schedule to attend the High Point Market and to meet with us,” said Doug Bassett, president of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. Inc. and chairman of the High Point Market Authority board of directors. “We want to thank Gov. McCrory for his support of the Market Authority and the furniture industry, particularly in providing funding that will help us to continue and to improve the massive trade show that has such a huge economic impact on the state of North Carolina.”
After his private meeting, McCrory will meet with media representatives at the International Home Furnishings Center, the market authority announced Tuesday.
McCrory surprised and upset many High Point leaders and supporters of the market when he initially proposed cutting state appropriations in half by the middle of 2014. The cut from the current $1.65 million to $800,000 was part of the governor’s $20.6 billion state budget proposal.
After strenuous objections from people in High Point, the region and the home furnishings industry as a whole, McCrory decided earlier this month to change course and propose maintaining market support at its current level through the 2014-15 state fiscal year. The final say on market funding, however, remains with the Republican-controlled N.C. General Assembly as legislators craft a state budget that takes effect for the new fiscal year July 1.
State appropriations, which date back seven years, make up about one-third of the High Point Market Authority’s $4.7 million annual budget. The state money supports shuttle services for marketgoers and promotion of the world’s largest home furnishings trade show and the single-largest economic event in North Carolina each year.
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