Despite being the “Furniture Capital of the World,” High Point, NC has fallen to be one of the Top 10 “poorest populations” and “growing poor neighborhoods” in the United States. (Brookings Institute)
Why? The impact of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the city’s manufacturing, agricultural and tobacco-related jobs. Individuals were not prepared with the skills to find new work in other industries. Then, the 2008 housing collapse. Furthermore, North Carolina opted out of Medicaid coverage to low-income residents, cut unemployment benefits to a 14-week maximum and eliminated the state’s “Earned Income Tax Credit,” which reduces taxes for low-income workers.
High Point, NC-based Progressive Business Media (PBM) is looking to positively impact the “Capital” of the industry it serves. The company’s 2016 focus includes the launch of a potentially annual event that brings professionals in the home furnishings industry to construct a home for one of its residents via a Habitat for Humanity build.
The home will include donated furnishings that demonstrate a “democratization of design” with affordable, yet beautiful products.
During market, a dedication event will occur involving the mayor, local government, HPMA, industry participants, PBM staff and media (b2b, consumer), and, of course, the participating homeowner(s).