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Shaw Industries announced plans to temporarily shut down all of its U.S. manufacturing plants starting Monday, April 6.

Shaw is the largest employer in neighboring Bartow County, with more than 3,500 workers, according to Melinda Lemmon, director of the Cartersville-Bartow County Office of Economic Development.

The shutdown is being blamed on the coronavirus outbreak, which has hit Bartow County particularly hard.

The company is expected to stagger the closures, rolling out the shut-downs over a period of days. It did not give a schedule for its Bartow operations — in five locations, mostly in Cartersville, with one large carpet tile manufacturing facility in Adairsville.

In a statement, the company said Shaw will “support its associates during this time by filing for their unemployment benefits.”

Employer-filed electronic claims generally yield faster unemployment checks for laid-off workers.

Bartow County sole Commissioner Steve Taylor said it would be hard to calculate the impact the shutdown will have on the county’s economy. But he said the Shaw closures — on the heels of a temporary shutdown at Toyo Tire that is idling more than 2,000 workers — will definitely be felt.

“It could really affect our sales tax collections greatly,” Taylor said.

The Shaw announcement indicates that limited operations could resume as early as April 13 — the expiration date of the statewide shelter-in-place order signed by Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday.

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