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Photo Credit: Brooke Roberts” width=”400″ height=”267″ />Homegrown Micro-Manufacturers

“Grow-Your-Own” as a Strategy for Economic Development

There’s more ways to increase the presence of manufacturing in a community than just attracting new manufacturers and expanding & retaining those that are already here: you can also grow-your-own.

Homegrown, micro-manufacturers are popping up everywhere and they exist entirely because of the internet. Micro-manufacturers are becoming increasingly relevant as consumer’s preferences continue to shift toward shopping online and brick-and-mortar stores (Toys-R-Us) struggle to keep pace. A ‘grow-your-own’ economic development strategy will become standard practice at some point.

Stability and Long Term Potential for Growth

Successfully supporting homegrown manufacturers requires focusing on those that have demonstrated stability and potential for long-term growth. The most promising micro-manufacturers produce their products themselves, in-house and the largest portion of sales come from outside their community. They also have:

  • Massive online footprints (strong presence on social media, etc.)
  • A physical location outside of the home for two or more years
  • At least one full time employee other than the owner
  • A competitive advantage that can’t easily be reproduced
  • Contracts with national retailers or large B2B sales
  • A strong commitment to their community

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