Recast City brings together small-scale manufacturers and community developers to strengthen our neighborhoods, build value in our real estate, and create more job opportunities for residents.
We help landowners, developers, and city leaders understand this growing business sector and how to incorporate it into real estate products. We help maker industry entrepreneurs and small manufacturing business owners get the support and exposure they need. And we help communities create more good paying jobs for our local residents.
Recast City’s founder, Ilana Preuss, is passionate about making great places and believes that small-scale manufacturers are a missing piece to creating long-lasting, vibrant local economies and great places to live and work for everyone.
With nearly 20 years of experience in city development, Preuss works with local leaders to go from idea to plan to action to build great places. Preuss brings a wealth of experience with federal, state and local real estate policy, and engaging local elected, business and other community leaders to bring projects to life.
Local governments can create programs that connect small producers to micro-lending and invest in buildings that provide low-cost space for local producers or a product-based incubator or accelerator. Local and national banks’ small business banking sectors can also be valuable partners. These partners can work together to create a series of funding programs.
Many jurisdictions do not have a readily accessible list of small-scale manufacturing businesses or know who owns these enterprises. Economic development practitioners can build a database of small-scale manufacturing business owners to understand the locations as well as the types and sizes of spaces the businesses need. First in a Four-Part Series.
Discovering Your City's Maker Economy, a new guide from National League of Cities (NLC), Etsy, Recast City and Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA) makes the case for local elected officials to focus on the role of maker and small-scale manufacturing businesses in their local economy.
What do you get when you combine a mayor willing to invest in small-scale manufacturing businesses, a strong entrepreneurship non-profit, a great partnership with the local Urban League, and a city with developable property?
You get THE Maker City – Knoxville, TN.
A city focused on keeping small-scale manufacturing near downtown to help revitalize neighborhoods. A city focused on Made in PLACE.
Smart community leaders recognize the importance of the small-scale manufacturing business sector but often still do not know where to find the community of owners. These business owners often go it alone, creating their product at-home or leasing space in an unusual location, and subsist without any municipal or local chamber of commerce support. Outreach to identify these businesses often needs to be creative. Here are a few strategies – some part of a regular business outreach routine and some more grassroots.
Communities working with their small-scale manufacturing businesses made waves in 2016 and are set to do so in 2017. What trends can we expect to see in this sector in 2017? Recast City has a few predictions.
Small-scale manufacturing business owners often face a challenge raising enough capital to scale regionally or nationally. Owners can be caught in a loop to cover costs for materials and fulfill existing orders, while needing a larger profit margin to purchase the new equipment that would allow them to manufacture products faster.
Some business owners pursue venture capital in order to scale rapidly. Others prefer to scale more slowly, but may not qualify for a regular bank loan. This is often a significant challenge for women- and minority-owned businesses – a key engine for local economic growth.
Financing affordable development for small-scale manufacturing is difficult in many of our cities and towns, but a few key tools can make a big difference both for non-profit and for-profit developers. New Market Tax Credits are one great tool that may be complex to apply, but are getting easier to use as new examples of their use for small-scale manufacturing continue to pop up all over the country.
Once upon a time, our cities and towns had small-scale manufacturing threaded throughout their main streets: the tailor and dressmaker, the furniture maker, the coffee roaster – you get the picture.
But over time, we sent these businesses off to the corners of our towns and to the edges of our cities.
Many communities require developers to set aside homes for affordable housing. But what about requiring developers to set aside affordable workspace for small-scale manufacturing businesses?