If you think manufacturing still needs to be exiled to large, polluting, isolated factories, think again. Many of today’s manufacturing spaces are small, clean, shared among multiple firms, and integrated with other land uses. And communities across the country are creating space for these businesses in downtown neighborhoods, and making them part of a place-based approach to economic development.
Small-scale producers and manufacturers can boost local economies by creating new jobs for workers with a wide range of skill sets. When these companies are located in a downtown, however, their economic impact multiplies. These businesses can bring life to vacant industrial properties or storefronts and catalyze broader neighborhood investment. They can also help attract visitors by fostering a community of creative producers.