HIGH POINT, N.C. (WNCN) – The High Point Furniture Market opened Saturday, with organizers watching the event closely after concerns that House Bill 2 could impact the massive gathering.
The furniture market opened Saturday and runs through Wednesday. It brings more than 75,000 people to High Point every six months to review furniture products.
After House Bill 2 passed in March, the High Point Market Authority issued a statement raising concerns.
“As leaders and organizers of the High Point Market, we feel an obligation to inform the public and our government leaders in Raleigh of the significant economic damage that HB2 is having on the High Point Market and on the North Carolina economy,” market officials said in a statement. “Based on the reaction in just the last few days, hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of our customers will not attend market this April.”
Tom Conley, CEO of the High Point Market Authority, told WXII on Saturday that the organization is closely watching its audience this April.
“We obviously were concerned and we expressed that in the statement about House Bill 2. We did some cancelations.”
Conley said the full impact will not be known for about two weeks.
The furniture market harkens back to North Carolina’s tradition as a leading furniture manufacturer and remains a massive undertaking that draws people from around the world.
“The economic impact on an annual basis is $5.38 billion per year,” Conley said. “We’re the largest single economic event in the state.”