The High Point Market Authority and a coalition of market showroom building owners issued a letter on Thursday that said the controversial North Carolina state law HB2 “in no way impacts the bathroom policies” of the privately owned buildings in the city.
“The new law applies to certain public buildings and in no way effects the policies that have been in place for years at the privately-owned buildings and showrooms that display the latest home furnishings introductions from our 2,000 exhibitors,” the letter said. “Our customers will be welcomed, as always, with open arms by your High Point hosts and we wish to assure everyone that they can expect the same welcome reception that they always receive.”
HPMA officials issued the letter following a statement from the market authority on Monday, March 28, that said “dozens of customers” had recently contacted the organization saying that they had cancelled plans to attend the upcoming market due to HB2’s passage. After the bill was signed into law, various groups called for a boycott of business within the state.
Approved by North Carolina state officials in March, HB2 bans any city or municipality from enacting anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation and gender identity; and it removed anti-discrimination ordinances protecting gay and transgender people that were effective in several cities throughout the state.
Market authority officials and the coalition of building owners added that they view High Point Market’s diverse customer base as one of its greatest strengths and assets.
A 2013 Duke University economic impact study found that the High Point Market is the largest economic event in North Carolina each year, with an annual economic impact of $5.38 billion.