Pratt Center Research

Growing a More Equitable Economy

The Federal Role in Supporting Urban Manufacturing

Report  |  April 6, 2011

This paper identifies opportunities for federal policy to support Small Urban Manufacturers (SUMs), and to do so within a thoughtful framework for urban development. The report presents an overview of America’s manufacturing today: decentralized networks of small, specialized firms, many of which are hidden in plain sight in urban areas. The federal government can work with state and local leaders to support these SUMs, without significant added cost or major operational changes. This report presents the following recommendations:  adhere to an updated narrative about cities and manufacturing, that informs and guides programs and policies; help support SUMs' role in regional cluster growth and industrial development and; ensure that SUMs have the space, infrastructure, and technical assistance they need to grow and prosper.