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State raises High Point Market funding by $200,000

HIGH POINT — The High Point Market Authority will receive an extra $200,000 from the state of North Carolina for the current fiscal year, from July 2013 to June 2014.

That brings the total state appropriation to the Market Authority to $1.86 million. In addition, the budget designates the funding as recurring, which means the legislature intends to provide funding for the Market Authority in future years.

"We greatly appreciate this increase in funding from the state of North Carolina. The $1.86 million in funds ... represents a fair compromise between the $2 million we requested and the $1.66 million we received last year," said Doug Bassett, Market Authority chairman. "These funds will allow us to continue to provide a first-class experience for the more than 75,000 visitors who come twice each year to the largest, most well-known and most important home furnishings industry trade show."

The Market Authority received $1.2 million to help cover transportation expenses and $655,000 in marketing funds. The fall market, which runs Oct. 19-24, will be the first show to benefit from the expanded funding.

"We were thrilled to learn of the state of North Carolina's funding increase and particularly want to thank the Guilford County delegation for shepherding our request through the General Assembly," said Thomas Conley, Market Authority president and CEO. "Our transportation services during market weeks provide over 330,000 rides annually, using over 70 vehicles and provide service to five cities, four counties and three airports (Greensboro, Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte). Returning our funding to the level we received in 2010-2011 is a move in the right direction."

Market officials say the High Point Market is North Carolina's biggest economic event with an annual impact of more than $1 billion, providing tax revenues to the state of $40 to 45 million.

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