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      Distribution facility in Dillon County expanding, creating 200 jobs

      Harbor Freight Tools USA Inc., a rapidly expanding discount tool retailer will be expanding its distribution plant in Dillon County, generating around 200 new jobs.

      Harbor Freight Tools plans to add approximately 1 million square feet of space to the company's existing facility in the Tri-County Gateway Industrial Park in Dillon. The company built its original Dillon distribution center in 2001 and expects to complete the expansion by early 2014.

      The company plans to begin hiring for new positions in October.

      Anyone interested in job opportunities should visit the careers page at the Harbor Freight Tools website at www.harborfreight.com/employment-opportunities {<}http://www.harborfreight.com/employment-opportunities{>}.

      "We are excited about breaking ground on what will be a dramatic expansion of our operation in Dillon County. Dillon has been the hub of our eastern distribution network for over a decade and South Carolina has been a great home for our company, providing us with a strong and skilled workforce and an excellent place to do business. With this expansion we're making a commitment that extends far beyond building and equipping a new building - we're making a commitment to outstanding corporate citizenship and a commitment to a great corporate culture that will make Harbor Freight Tools the employer of choice in the Pee Dee Region. We appreciate all the support we've received from state and local officials and we're very proud of the extraordinary team we're building in Dillon," said Eric Smidt, CEO of Harbor Freight Tools.

      Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $322 million in capital investment and more than 2,800 jobs in the distribution and logistics sector.

      "Today's announcement is another terrific example of what Team South Carolina can accomplish in the economic development arena. State and local officials worked with the company to make this happen. Harbor Freight Tools' investment means more jobs and sustainability for the local community. Every one of these jobs will have impact," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

      The Tri-County Gateway Industrial Park is jointly owned by Dillon, Marlboro and Marion counties. All three counties had a hand in bringing the project to fruition.

      "With our hardworking people, our proximity to major markets, our technical colleges and our available Industrial sites, our area has always been an ideal location for any industry. We were very happy to assist Harbor Freight Tools with this expansion," said Dillon County Council Chairman Archie Scott.

      "On behalf of Marion County we are excited about the expansion of the Harbor Freight complex. This expansion and the additional new jobs are great for our region and especially Dillon, Marlboro and Marion Counties. The Tri-County Partnership is a wonderful example of how working in collaboration can be successful," said Marion County Council Chairwoman Elista Smith.

      The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a rural infrastructure grant of $1 million and approved job development credits. A Community Development Block Grant worth $1.46 million was also approved.