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Thomas Russell

N.C. Gov. McCrory meets with furniture execs at High Point Market

HIGH POINT - North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory met with furniture executives on the opening day of market to continue a dialogue that started with what he said was an unintended move to cut the budget for the High Point Market Authority.
The governor, elected to office in November, said the market funding was erroneously lumped in with other transportation funding issues. That led McCrory to initially propose cutting the state funding in half, although he revised the proposal to restore funding to the current $1.65 million a year.
McCrory's staff said he had restored funding before receiving a letter in early April from 42 top industry executives protesting the planned budget cuts. He met with 38 of those executives at market Saturday to discuss the budget issue, among other topics ranging from the North Carolina economy to state education policy matters and regulatory issues.
"We want to make North Carolina more business friendly," he said, adding that he wants to see businesses feel more like customers rather than adversaries.
High Point Market Authority Chairman Doug Bassett said Saturday's meeting included representation from companies with about $9 billion in sales last year that employed 11,000 workers in North Carolina and leased about 2 million square feet of space at market.
He said this was the first meeting he knew of of its kind held so early in a new governor's term.
"The fact we are meeting together ... so early in an administration is just a terrific thing," Bassett said.
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