May 2, 2013

Making business growth easier

The Daily Citizen

— Dalton and Whitfield County, and really all of Northwest Georgia, got some very welcome news on Wednesday.

Robert E. “Bob” Shaw, chairman and CEO of Engineered Floors, outlined a five-year expansion plan that he says could create some 2,000 jobs across the region. Shaw said the company will invest more than $450 million in Northwest Georgia during the next five years and build at least one new factory in Whitfield County.

Engineered Floors has expanded rapidly since its founding in 2009. It currently employs some 1,200 people.

“This is about our fifth expansion,” Shaw said. “We are just completing an expansion of our Dalton facilities. In fact, we won’t complete that expansion until the end of this year. This is really just a continuation of our growth. It just happened to be a new location.”

Obviously, when any company expands the main credit should go to the executives risking  their money or their shareholders’ money to grow their business. But there are others who can make business growth easier. And sometimes, those individuals can make growing a business more difficult.

This time a number of individuals and organizations have been working with Engineered Floors to make its plans a reality, although no deals have been finalized. These organizations need to be recognized and thanked for their role, regardless of how big or small: Whitfield County Board of Commissioners, Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, Dalton-Whitfield County Joint Development Authority, Georgia Department of Economic Development and the governor’s office.

We as a community have a long way to go to get back to where we were only five years ago when the recession kicked in. Engineered Floors’ plans could take us a long way.