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Gov. Brian Kemp moved Monday to extend social distancing rules for businesses and stay-at-home orders for the state’s most vulnerable populations another two weeks amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

ATLANTA — A Chinese flooring company will open its first U.S. headquarters and manufacturing plant in Northwest Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp announced.

Huali Floors will create at least 315 jobs with an investment of $27 million at a site in Murray County.

The company is a leading manufacturer of resilient flooring, a middle ground between carpeting and hardwood or stone. Its products include vinyl tiles, stone-plastic and wood-plastic composite flooring.

“It’s a testament to Georgia’s logistics network and readily available work force when an innovative company like Huali Floors chooses Georgia to establish their first U.S. manufacturing operations,” Kemp said. “I am confident Huali will find success in the Peach State.”

Philip Yuan, president of Huali Group, cited Northwest Georgia’s reputation as a flooring manufacturing center in the company’s decision to locate in the region. Georgia was the nation’s No.-1 exporter of floor covering products last year, with a total export value of $485.4 million.

“We want to be part of that spirit,” Yuan said. “We saw and felt the strength of the community throughout the project process.”

Huali Floors employs more than 2,000 full-time workers, with annual revenue exceeding $360 million. The company uses the Port of Savannah and plans to ship its products to the coast by rail from the Appalachian Regional Port near Chatsworth.

Jobs at the new headquarters and plant will involve administration, manufacturing and research and development. Individuals interested in employment opportunities can visit murraycountychamber.org/hfusa.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Global Commerce Division worked on the project in partnership with the state Department of Labor’s Quick Start program, the Georgia Ports Authority, the Murray County Industrial Development Authority, Georgia EMC and Georgia Power Co.

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