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Thomas Russell

N.C. governor to meet with industry leaders at High Point Market

HIGH POINT — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory will meet here Saturday with industry leaders who petitioned his support for continued state funding of the High Point Market.

The private meeting will take place from noon to 12:45 p.m. in the Green Wing of the the 11th floor of the International Home Furnishings Center on Saturday, the opening day of the spring market. Forty-two industry executives had sent him a letter in support of funding for the High Point Market Authority.

A press conference is scheduled immediately after the meeting.

The governor's budget originally proposed cutting state funds for the market in half for the fiscal year beginning July 14, 2014. However, he changed course after learning that private funding would not be able to make up the difference. The decision came a day before the industry leaders sent his office the letter.

Now, under McCrory's proposed budget, the Market Authority would continue to receive $1 million in state funding from the Transportation Department and $665,000 from the Commerce department in each of the next two fiscal years. The amount is roughly the same funding support the market Authority has received in the 2013 fiscal year ending June 30.

The budget proposal must still make its way through the North Carolina legislature.

"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 bedroom manufacturer Vaughan-Bassett and chairman of the Market Authority. "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 as huge economic impact on the state of North Carolina."

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