The High Point furniture market has changed plans several times this year, but right now it’s still a go for the dates of Tuesday, Oct. 13 to Wednesday, Oct. 21.
Everyone, including state lawmakers, wants to make sure that event – which pulls in visitors from all over the world – will be as safe as possible, which is why the North Carolina General Assembly recently approved funding to implement additional measures to ensure the health and safety of the attendees.
The coronavirus has proven to be very sturdy in the summer and many are worried about a new wave of the disease coming in the fall, so furniture market officials are planning a vast array of safety measures.
The state will provide the High Point Market Authority, which puts on the event, $725,000 from the funds the state received as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. According to that federal legislation, the funds must be used specifically for COVID-19 related costs– but that’s no problem for organizers since the added level of safety at the market in 2020 is going to be costly.
Market organizers plan to use the money to implement additional safeguards and take steps aimed at mitigating the risk of virus exposure for attendees.
Tom Conley, the president and CEO of the Market Authority, stated in a press release that this $750,000 from the state is badly needed and will be put to good use.
“We are committed to creating a safe environment for our attendees, our staff, and our community, but that will come with a hefty price tag at a time when our budget is already strained due to impending funding cuts from our community partners,” Conley stated. “This support from the state is crucial for us to be able to execute thoroughly all the suggested safety guidelines so that health and safety priorities remain paramount.”
Conley added that he and others associated with the market are extremely grateful to state Rep. John Faircloth and the entire Guilford County legislative delegation for their “long-standing support of High Point Market and their assistance in securing these needed funds.”
Earlier this year, market organizers announced some of the measures that will be taken in the fall. Among other things, they’ll limit group sizes, spread out events over more days, increase sanitation efforts, implement social distancing requirements and offer beefed-up medical services compared to previous years.