A report released by the Duke Center on Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness will be used as a basis for securing government funding for the High Point Market.
High Point Market, a biannual furniture exposition in High Point, N.C., generates over $212 million in local and state taxes on top of contributing more than $5.39 million to the regional economy, according to the study, which analyzed the economic impact in a 75-mile radius of the event. Lukas Brun, senior research analyst at the DCGGC, presented a full executive summary on the economic impact of High Point Market at a press conference October 18. The Market released an initial portion of the findings earlier this month.
This assessment of High Point Market’s economic value comes soon after a budget proposed earlier this year by Governor Pat McCrory that threatened future government funding for the event, which will occur next in April. Dialogue among legislators and industry members led many to realize the true value of High Point Market was unknown, prompting the study, said Guilford County state representative John Faircloth.
“We came to the realization that we didn’t have a true picture of what was happening,” Faircloth said. “The need became evident and the Market stepped forward and made the arrangement with Duke.”
A task force created by the furniture market to educate legislators and industry members about the market initiated the study with the DCGGC, he said.
Doug Bassett, chairman of the board for High Point Market Authority and president of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture, noted the value the study will have in securing funding for future events at the market.
“We have to go for state funding each and every year—now we’ve got an updated economic impact study from a nationally recognized university like Duke,” Bassett said. “This study’s going to carry a lot of weight with all the leaders in Raleigh and should make it easier for us to make our case for continuing to fund High Point Market.”
Bassett said that the market typically receives $1.8 million each year from the state government, a small amount compared to the $123 million in state tax revenue it generates. He noted that the rate of return on investments in the High Point is 66 to 1.
“That’s just an incredibly strong number and that’s going to be very helpful when we go back to Raleigh next year,” he said.
Brun said that the industry members and legislators to whom the information was presented responded enthusiastically. Market officials have contacted the DCGGC about completing a follow-up assessment in five years to compare with the current results.
The study involved creating a new research method to match the unique nature of the market, Brun added. The results currently stand alone as a result of the novel method.
DCGGC director Gary Gereffi noted that the High Point Market is a leader in publicizing the furniture industry.
“North Carolina and High Point Market have managed to retain their position as a leader in the U.S. industry in terms of showcasing what’s being done in furniture,” Gereffi said. “That’s the position the state would like to try to maintain, especially as we continue to face global competition.”