FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2005

Kevin Hall
www.governor.virginia.gov
(804) 225-4260


David Guthrie
Paris Ceramics, Inc.
(203) 323-4193
Christie Collins
VEDP
(804) 371-4074
GOVERNOR WARNER ANNOUNCES PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY TO GAIN 30 NEW JOBS
-Paris Ceramics USA, Inc. to invest $2 million in manufacturing facility-


RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Paris Ceramics USA, Inc. will invest $2 million to open a facility in Prince Edward County, creating 30 new jobs. The company will manufacture high-value stone flooring and stone-related products. Virginia successfully competed against Connecticut for the project. Top administration officials met with Charles Smallbone, Chairman of Smallbone plc, the United Kingdom parent company of Paris Ceramics, during a June 2005 European trade mission.

“This announcement is further validation that our aggressive international marketing efforts produce results,” Governor Warner said. “The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s European office was instrumental in developing the relationship between Paris Ceramics and the Commonwealth, and Prince Edward County’s aggressive commitment to the company helped close the deal.”

Founded in 1982 in the United Kingdom, Paris Ceramics’ United States headquarters are located in Stamford, Connecticut. The company has established a worldwide reputation for supplying high-quality stone flooring and stone-related products. Paris Ceramics offers a range of specialist services, working closely with the client through the completion of a project. Each client receives a unique product as Paris Ceramics commissions all of its tiles exclusively.

Mr. Charles Smallbone, Chairman of Smallbone plc, the UK parent company of Paris Ceramics, commented: “The Group is excited to be making this investment in Prince Edward County, which will give Paris Ceramics the ability to realize its growth potential. We thank the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Prince Edward County for their support for our project, and for their diligence in working with Paris Ceramics to successfully complete the negotiations to close the deal. We are convinced that the investment in this new facility, combined with the good logistical infrastructure that Virginia can provide to both our suppliers and customers, will enable Paris Ceramics to capitalize on the parallel investments it is making in its nationwide showroom network and its marketing presence. Paris Ceramics is very much looking forward to operating from its new home.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked closely with Prince Edward County and the County Industrial Development Authority to secure the project for Virginia. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $300,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. The company is eligible to receive benefits from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development because it is locating in an enterprise zone. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will support the project with training assistance through its Workforce Services Program.

“The Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors is very pleased to join Governor Warner in welcoming Paris Ceramics to our community and to the Virginia’s Heartland region,” said William G. Fore, Jr., Chairman, Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors. “Our County is working hard to diversify the local economy and to attract new job opportunities for our citizens. Paris Ceramics helps us do both. We are proud they chose Prince Edward County, Virginia as the location for their new manufacturing facility.”

VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

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