How High Point's furniture market gleams in NC

High Point EnterpriseOctober 21, 2013 

The following editorial appeared in the High Point Enterprise:

To our visitors this week we say, “Welcome to High Point!” Surely many local folks already have greeted High Point Market visitors – and there are plenty of good reasons for that. But this market there are even more, about 37,616 or them to be precise.

Since the tens of thousands of visitors involved in the home furnishings industry were here in April, researchers at Duke University’s Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness have completed a study of the twice-a-year market’s impact on this region and the state. This most recent study updates those conducted several years ago by researchers at High Point University and UNC-Greensboro, and its findings show how truly huge this week is to the economy of this region and state.

Duke researchers attributed creation of 37,616 jobs to market, with about 11,000 of them being directly related to the event. Those jobs attributed directly to market fall in the food service and catering, lodging, maintenance/repair construction services and transit and ground passenger transit areas. About 26,000 jobs in a 30-county, two-state region are related to furniture sales generated at market, according to the study. Those sales lead to jobs in the manufacturing of home furnishings in the region and state.

For years, the Enterprise and market officials have touted the $1.1 billion annual economic impact that those older studies attributed to market activity. The Duke researchers, however, have placed that number now at an eye-opening $5.39 billion.

In computing fiscal impact of market, researchers looked at 22 counties, and according to the study, $197.9 million in tax revenue is generated for local and state governments. Of that amount, an estimated $25.5 million in tax revenue flows to High Point and Guilford County.

The study also examined market attendance. It found that 76,000 people come to market each April and October, with 58,000 of those attendees coming from more than a 75-mile radius of the city.

Clearly, these Duke University researchers have shown how important market is to this city, region and state. Sometimes questions arise about the $1 million the city and the nearly $2 million the state allocate annually for the High Point Market Authority, which puts on the event. Clearly, those allocations by the city and state are paying huge dividends.

And, clearly, we are glad those 76,000 market visitors are here.

MCT Information Services

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