WHAT IS SMALL SCALE MANUFACTURING?
Small-scale producers, or maker businesses, are defined as all types of small businesses producing tangible goods. This includes businesses producing goods in textile, hardware, wood, metal, 3D printing, and food. This also includes hardware prototyping, consumer product design and prototyping, breweries and distilleries, and local food production and packaging.
Small-scale manufacturing has emerged as a powerful way to tie opportunity to place, and can fill a key missing piece in today’s local downtown and community development efforts. Data suggests that this form of manufacturing is rapidly growing in downtowns across the country, expanding and diversifying the employment and retail opportunities found there. The causes are two-fold: technologies like 3-D printing, high speed sewing equipment and food processors at scale are shrinking the footprint and cost of entry into traditional manufacturing. This is combined with rapidly changing consumer preferences that are tired of homogeneous products that you can essentially get anywhere. Today’s consumers are looking for products with a story that is locally made and appeals to their individualism. As a result, from micro brewers to apparel and bike manufacturers, many more people are beginning to blend retail, manufacturing and wholesaling opportunities at a much smaller scale, leading to growing tourism, diversified employment, and well-paid job opportunities for local communities.
December 4, 2019 recorded webinar
Webinar slide show presentation
DHCD will select up to three (3) communities to participate in a pilot program. In order to be selected for the pilot program, communities must submit a Request For Interest by January 10, 2020.
If selected for the pilot program, the community will receive approximately $10,000 worth of technical assistance services. The community will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for the program. With this service, the community agrees to fully participate, as well as assist with logistics for on-site visits.
TIMELINE FOR PILOT PROGRAM
- December 4, 2019 – Small Scale Manufacturing Webinar
- January 10, 2020 – RFI submissions are due by 12:00 p.m.
- January 24, 2020 – Pilot communities selected
- February 24-26, 2020 – Initial Pilot Community Site Visits
- March/April 2020 – Pilot Community Market Assessments and Development Plan Reports
- May/June 2020 – Pilot Community Report Presentations and follow up technical assistance visit
- July/August 2020 – Additional resources identified and secured for implementation