Acres of innovative manufacturing potential in Lowell, MA

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.

Technical assistance

Announcing the recipients of our Small-Scale Manufacturing And Place-Based Economic Development technical assistance


The Gates Art Gallery building in Lowell, MA’s Acre neighborhood. Lowell is hoping to support small-scale manufacturing in the neighborhood. Photo by Richard Howe via Flickr.

Four communities are using small-scale manufacturing for downtown revitalization to create economic opportunity, and will receive free technical assistance from Smart Growth America, made possible by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Small-scale manufacturing has emerged as an innovative strategy in today’s urban economic development toolbox. For many cities, this new industry can connect residents to good paying jobs and economic opportunity in the neighborhoods they call home. Smart Growth America’s newest technical assistance program helps cities integrate small-scale manufacturing spaces into their economic development work.

Economic development Technical assistance

Learn more about our free small-scale manufacturing technical assistance

Photo credit: Recast City

Last month we announced a new, free technical assistance workshop designed to help communities incorporate small-scale manufacturing into neighborhood revitalization efforts.

To learn more about this opportunity and small-scale manufacturing, join us for an informational webinar Monday, December 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm EST. This online event is free, but registration is required.

Technical assistance

Small-scale manufacturers: creating good jobs, great products, and vibrant neighborhoods

rickshaw

Rickshaw Bagworks makes and sells cycling-inspired bags in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. Photo by Richard Masoner via Flickr.

Small-scale manufacturers like woodworkers, steel fabricators, hardware prototypers, microbrewers, and coffee roasters with regional distribution have emerged as a significant force in today’s urban economy. For many cities and neighborhoods suffering the loss of skilled-labor employers, this emerging, city-oriented industrial sector offers a powerful revitalization tool that can connect residents to good paying jobs and economic opportunity in the neighborhoods they call home.

Technical assistance