By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
After a two-year hiatus, the Tupelo Furniture Market will receive state funding for its marketing efforts.
The Mississippi Legislature approved $250,000 to be used for promoting the biannual show.
“Furniture manufacturers are a valuable part of Mississippi’s economic engine, and the Tupelo Furniture Market is a great place to showcase those products,” said Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. “Senator Nancy Collins and Senator J.P. Wilemon shared with senators the important role the market plays in the state’s furniture industry and how these funds would help the market grow.”
The funding will be made through the Forest and Wildlife Research Center at the Institutions of Higher Learning.
The money will be used to help recruit thousands of exhibitors and retail buyers to the market, which is a showcase for many of the region’s upholstered furniture manufacturers. Several out-of-state companies also show at twice-yearly markets, which attract buyers from nearly all 50 states and several foreign countries.
But the funding is about an eighth of what North Carolina allocates for the High Point Market.
Earlier this month, the North Carolina House of Representatives proposed another $200,000 in state funding for the High Point Market Authority.
The Senate had offered $1.635 million.
Tupelo Furniture Market President Kevin Seddon praised Rep. Jerry Turner, R-Baldwyn, for leading the charge to restore funding for the 26-year-old market.
“He, as well as many others in the state legislature, identified a need to support the market and one of our state’s leading industries and took the initiative,” Seddon said.
Roughly 20,000 people attend the spring and fall markets in Tupelo.
The next market is scheduled for Aug. 15-18.