As I noted several days ago, organizers of High Point Market Week, which bills itself as the world’s largest home furnishings trade show, say they are being deluged with cancellations in the wake of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signing his state’s hate bill into law. Yesterday the 26,000-member American Society of Interior Designers issued a statement backing the boycott of the event. The group adds that while they will still have a presence at the show, they will now use their forum to pressure others to “consider where they spend their money.” From their message:
A thriving business environment depends on inclusive practices that welcome all who want to participate. In fact, North Carolina prides itself on being one of the top states to establish and conduct business in the nation. Yet HB 2 sends a clear and harmful message to the contrary. As a result, numerous businesses and consumers are calling for boycotts of North Carolina’s economy and more specifically, the upcoming bi-annual High Point Market; one of the largest income producers for the state of North Carolina.
Members of the design community have not only joined these calls, but also are forgoing participation at High Point Market—at a cost to their businesses. ASID commends their actions in the name of pressuring the governor and legislature to rescind HB 2.
Similarly, ASID supports those individuals attending Market who wish to champion the many manufacturers and businesses speaking out against the new law. Laws such as HB 2, which permit discrimination, are both regressive and place individuals at risk of being denied service, lodging, employment, and business in general. Therefore, ASID encourages anyone attending Market to ask hard questions of the organizations they do business with and to consider carefully, and morally, where they spend their money.
ASID rejects discrimination of any kind and, as the voice of the profession, we expect public policies to support and protect—not jeopardize—our members, the profession, and the industry. While ASID will continue with our scheduled programming at Market, which includes a session on The Impact of Government Laws and Regulations on Your Design Business, we will evaluate future interactions and business opportunities in North Carolina as well as other states with similar laws. Our vigilance on this matter will not cease and we strongly urge all elected officials to move without delay to repeal discriminatory laws like HB 2.
High Point Market Week opens on April 15th. The spring and fall trade shows bring an estimated $5.4B to the state’s economy. (Tipped by JMG reader Michael)