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Laudisi Enterprises Expansion Testimonial

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Smoking pipes.com which is our largest company and the one that's been around longest, ships at retailed directly to consumers about 36 U.S. times of pipe tobacco a year, about 25,000 pipes per year. I actually founded Laudisi in Nashville in 2000; we started with just our online retail operation. I moved the company down to Horry County in 2003. We opened this store and moved into this building in the beginning of 2005. So our history is primarily in online and then later physical retail. In the last few years we branched out into distribution of pipes and pipe tobacco and we also have a tobacco factory in North Carolina. Here in Horry County we have maybe 52 or 53 employees. We have another half dozen or so up North Carolina and then one in Japan. About a year ago we realized that we were growing rapidly and that we were in the process of acquiring a company in North Carolina and so that gave us anchors in two different states in time for us to consider options. We have our own warehouse space; it was time for a move of some sort. The chamber really started the ball rolling for helping us realize what was on offer here in Horry County, so we called Bubba Collins because we needed a new health insurance agent. He came in here, almost didn't according to him, because he couldn't figure out how we could possibly have more than 4 employees here, and realized what we had. He started talking with chamber about us. We had been chamber members but not in any serious active way the whole time and started talking to us about what the chamber could do for us. Mark Jordan and Brad Lofton were both instrumental in guiding us through the process of that. The biggest for the reason we decided to stay here is the support and interest and guidance that we got from Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development and the North Myrtle Beach Chamber. So my advice would be to call the Chamber, see what they can do for you; these people know what's going on in Horry County. For me, I know about pipes and I know about pipe tobacco. I know about online retail, but this doesn't help me navigate real estate, local government, state government, tax credits offered by the state. That doesn't experience does not translate into the kind of local knowledge that the chamber and Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development have. And that’s really valuable stuff, so I would call them.

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