Cartoon: Money for the Market

By Anthony | June 12th, 2006 | 12:40 am

Cartoon: Money for the Market

The International Home Furnishings Authority is trying to step up its game to compete with the new Las Vegas furniture market, but Greensboro and Winston-Salem seem reluctant to help out.

Although the governments were receptive, most said they wanted to see more concrete numbers on how the market — which pumps an estimated $1 billion into the Triad’s economy and creates about 12,500 jobs regionally — impacts their communities.

For example, how many visitors stay in hotels, eat at restaurants and shop outside of High Point.

But since the meeting, one local government said it is still waiting for the numbers.

“We haven’t heard anything from them yet,” said Winston-Salem’s assistant city manager Derwick Paige, who attended the initial meeting with High Point leaders.

As a result, none of the surrounding communities — except for Guilford County — has included additional money for the market in their upcoming budgets.

However, according to the article, a similar study was done as recently as 2004. That seems rather recent to me, and according to an article written about that study, it sounds like it addressed many of the relevant questions:

The new study, for the first time, takes into account spending by businesses that serve those directly involved in market, said Andrew Brod, a professor at UNCG and author of the study. As just one example, the study takes into account the money spent renovating showrooms between markets and it factors in the jobs created from this.

It seems a bit strange that Greensboro and Winston-Salem are dragging their feet on this in the face of the Vegas Market’s potential threat. They are certainly benefitting from the furniture market, and it’s got to be easier to stay ahead of the competition, rather than have to play catch up.

4 Responses to “Cartoon: Money for the Market”

  1. darkmoon Says:

    I hate to say it, but Vegas can pretty much top anything we throw at it. Not to mention the recent gouging of the market visitors at hotels and some restaurants because “we can” has left a foul taste in many of those that fly in for the furniture market.

    I’d be curious as to the exact shopping impact on surrounding areas considering that if furniture market is anything like the conferences I’ve been to in the past, then there’s not exactly that much going on in the whole “shopping” arena since there isn’t time for it. You go to the events during the day, and at night, you just want something decent to eat and go to bed.

    Just my experiences though, but basing on it and from what I’ve heard, HP is shooting in the dark unless they can talk down the hotels and restaurants to realistic pricing. Then perhaps GSO and WS will listen.

  2. PotatoStew Says:

    Those are definitely good points. Regarding Vegas topping us – from a glitz/entertainment standpoint, that’s certainly true. From the standpoint of the actual showrooms and industry-specific offerings, I would think we have them beat for the moment, but it may not always be that way. One thing we do have going for us is inertia. We have a head start since many businesses have already invested here. By itself, that’s not much, but if we keep making improvements I think it’ll help keep people here even if Vegas does top us in some respects.

    As for the shopping impact, specific numbers would be nice, but I think the actual impact on the economy must go way beyond that. There are the effects of additional employment, as mentioned in the 2004 report. There’s also the fact that even if all the direct financial benefit goes to High Point residents, those High Point residents are certainly spending their money in Greensboro and Winston-Salem throughout the year.

  3. Brenda Bowers Says:

    Greensboro is being short sighted on this one is my opinion. Giving money $1.5 from September to February alone to very properous companies, and yet not trying to save one that is already here. It’s not the shopping and restuarants and rooms, it is the jobs that the market generates all year round that should concern the city council. We need to keep these jobs and perhaps bring the market back in a form of more specilized furniture and cabinetry that China can not compete with. Highpoint still has the name if not the game—they are trying to use that as a spring board and Greensboro residents will benefit if they succeeed.

  4. darkmoon Says:

    @PotatoStew: I suppose that’s true with the shopping, but needless to say, from a city standpoint, that doesn’t really do much. If I were in charge of finances from a city, I would gain nothing from HP residents shopping in my malls. Taxes are still collected by GSO businesses. No property tax since that’s collected by HP. And sales tax by state. Maybe I’m missing a few taxes, but city itself doesn’t gain much out of it, so I wouldn’t be surprised by the little it gives back.

    If there is money gained, it’s certainly not documented. If HP wants help with the money, they need to publish a study, and run a guilt trip via media.

    I think inertia wise, money and cheap everything, drives a lot. HP might pull out of this one, but I’m not even certain with GSO and WS, that there’s a chance in hell. But hey, always the cynic.

    In all regards, from tax benefit POV, there’s more give back from pursuing Carroll’s Centerpointe downtown in tax revenues than market.