The same day the city’s leaders touted their strong business environment in Atlanta, a flooring company from Hong Kong committed to a $30 million factory in Georgia.
Novalis Innovative Flooring is putting its first U.S. plant in Dalton, a global capital for carpet and flooring industry where the company had already put a North American headquarters. The project will create 120 jobs.
The announcement of another vinyl flooring manufacturer comes a month after a separate Chinese company, Nanjing-based GreenView Floors International Inc., set it would put a $26 million plant in Adairsville, hiring 238.
And that came just over a year after Georgia Department of Economic Development announced during a 2018 trade mission to China that Complete Flooring Supply Corp., a Suwanee-based company with origins in China, said it would hire 100 at a new $30 million plant making bamboo, cork and engineered flooring in Calhoun.
Tariffs played a role in driving the CFS Flooring decision and may have affected the others as well. While the U.S.-China trade war has been effectively paused by the so-called phase one deal announced in mid-January, tariffs on some $370 billion in goods remain as part of the U.S. effort to enforce the deal.
Novalis said the new plant would put the company close to its customers and help attract new talent.
“This new location enables us to better service our customers while also helping to grow and support a community rich in the history of flooring manufacturing,” said John Wu, president and CEO of Novalis, in a Georgia news release.
Novalis was founded in Hong Kong in 1984 by Mr. Wu’s father and claims to have established the first vinyl flooring factory in China three years later, also gaining the first ISO certifications for manufacturing and environmental responsibility in the country.
The elder Mr. Wu was a physician who was worried about the depletion of the environment in making traditional wood flooring products. Its first shipment to the U.S. left China in 1988, according to Novalis’s website. The company now has sales in 50-plus countries and additional offices in Toronto and Bonn, Germany. Its factory is near Nanjing in the Jiangsu province city of Zhenjiang.