During a trade mission to Canada last week, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced that two Quebec companies, Polycor Inc. and Boostway International, have opened operations in Georgia.

Polycor is a Quebec City granite and marble company that bought Tate, Ga.-based Georgia Marble Co. in 2003. While the acquisition took place two years ago, the company recently announced it would make the Pickens County facility its North American headquarters.

The Canadian company saved some 70 jobs at Georgia Marble, which was scheduled to close operations prior to the acquisition. The Tate company was one of the largest employers in the small North Georgia town with a population of some 500 residents.

“Georgia Marble had been in business for over 100 years, so our community grew up around this company. When it was going to be closed, we would’ve lost our heritage, so that’s why the Polycor buy-out has been so important,” Pickens County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Evans told GlobalAtlanta during the mission at a reception held in Montreal.

Chairman and CEO of Quebec City-based Polycor, Irenee Bouchard, told GlobalAtlanta that he was worried people in Tate would resent Polycor because it was a foreign company. But he was pleased to find that they personally thanked him for saving their jobs and their way of life that had started with their grandfathers’ and great-grandfathers’ work in the marble and granite business there.

Boostway International, a member company of Montreal-based transport and logistics Groupe Fortier, announced it has opened its first United States facility in Newnan, Ga. The trailer and tractor company initially created 18 jobs in Georgia with an investment of $1.8 million to build a 7,000 square-foot trucking terminal.

The two Canada-based companies were part of a Georgia reception held at the Montreal Museum of Archeology and History attended by a 50-person Georgia delegation and Canadian officials and company representatives.

Mr. Perdue also introduced newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Canada David Wilkins at the event. A South Carolina native, Mr. Wilkins has been on the job for only a few weeks but pledged to visit every Canadian province during the first 100 days in his new position.

Visit www.polycor.com and www.boostway.com for more information about the companies. Contact the Georgia Department of Economic Development at bbrantley@georgia.org for more information about the Canadian trade mission. Contact Mr. Evans at (706) 692-5600 or visit www.pickenschamber.com