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Old 11-05-2007, 07:19 AM
 
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First - forgive me if this has been discussed before in general. What I found were threads about relocating to specific areas.

But my question is more general: is there a way to find out what communities currently welcome small business - specifically manufacturing?

We live in Austin where manufacturing businesses are seen as a bane. Zoning committees populated by residents outright seek to prevent manufacturing operations - even though Austin has regulations tighter than EPA. The city council has tripled regulatory fees with no notice. The city runs the electric and water utilities - which are expensive. Property tax on non residential is astronomical. And the worst part is that small business has no representation in the city council. It rolls out the red carpet for high tech. Small businesses are only acknowledged when the economy tanks.

But there must be some communities that have an availability of unskilled but dedicated workers that want to attract small stable businesses. Does anyone on this forum have suggestions on how to find these communities??

BTW Our business manufactures for the construction industry: metal & stone, no toxic processes. We hire unskilled labor and provide training.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:24 AM
 
Location: North Adams, MA
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I am in North Adams, MA and we have active quarries, mineral processing and metal salvage operations within our city limits and in nearby towns as well. Lots of old plant space too, though they are slowly being being adapted for reuse as housing, warehouse and artist's spaces. It is still a lovely place to live. Give Mayor Barrett a call and tell him your needs. What he says usually is what goes. He's been mayor here for 20+ years.

There are several areas zoned for industrial use, and others which have been grandfathered in. There is a freight line through the center of the city and lots of semi-skilled former factory workers who could be recruited.

I don't think we are alone, either. There are hundreds of cities across the nation that have lost manufacturing to China etc.
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:04 PM
 
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That's an interesting thought. We're from Mass. (many years ago) and have aging parents in central Mass. North Adams - isn't that where MoMA is? If so, it is a nice area. (Mass. is one of the most gorgeous states in general IMHO.)

We can deal with the winters. But we hadn't considered Mass. because we've heard (word of mouth) that Mass. isn't friendly to business and that Mass. has one of the higher costs of living. But that may be outdated knowledge. And it may be a case of where exactly you live and run your business.

Thanks for the idea. We'll consider it.
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles Area
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Although expensive Los Angeles has a huge manufacturing base, I think manufacturing does so well in LA because there is easy access to cheap labor (Its not just Mexicans either). I worked as a machinist for a few years in LA and I had to deliver parts and I was amazed at how many huge industrial areas there are around the city.

Anyhow, there are also cities like Vernon (Part of LA county) that are totally zoned for industry:

Welcome to the City of Vernon, California Official Web Site
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Buffalo Wyoming
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Wyoming has hardly NO Taxes , always looking for new businesses and we have a new Industrial park here in Buffalo. Also great outdoors, hunting fishing. Let me know if i can help
Good luck
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:32 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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There are special programs for distressed counties in several states, especially for bringing Manf.

here is one near me (SW WA)

Port of Kalama: Industrial Building, Industrial Property, Port of Vancouver, Washington, Port of Portland, Oregon - check out the "incentives' page, it has a lot of info on WA programs. It is also a very central location with ez access to Portland, Seattle, and Pacific Rim (via the Columbia River). Labor pool is pretty good there, as it can draw from Woodland to Longveiw, (15 min) and as far away (40Min) as Portland and Centralia

There are several other 'distressed' counties nearby. Skamania is great if you are into scenery, recreation (hunting, hiking, skiing, sail board, boating, fishing...) Labor pool is more limited, but not too bad with Hood River close by. Worker Bees like WA as it is income tax free (as is TX...)

Electricity is quite cheap, but do check into any permitting required by the SWCAA (clean air board). They hosed our Bio-Diesel manf. plans in Kalama. SWCAA - Business Assistance
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
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Unless you're talking hazardous chemicals or something, I think you would be welcomed in lots of areas. We have lost too many manufacturing jobs! Wyoming might be a great idea. Low taxes, land is cheap, and there is a large workforce available.
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:29 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
26,397 posts, read 44,188,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
... We have lost too many manufacturing jobs! Wyoming might be a great idea. ...
Good idea, make it Sheridan or Powell, and I will drop in and offer some affordable PT ME assistance (32 yrs in manf - ex...(job sent to Asia) now back in business school for 'retraining' )
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:28 AM
 
Location: North Adams, MA
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You mentioned stone and metal as your building materials, and so I wanted to add that the Northern Berkshires are surrounded by four mountain types: the Greylocks which are mostly calcium carbonate and yield limestone and marble; the Taconics which are actually across the border in New York at this latitude and are comprised of mostly slate; the Hoosics which are granite; and the famous Green Mountains of Vermont which have all three plus an incredible array of gneisses, quartzites, and marbles in the southern area. The first of the Green Mountain range is actually in North Adams as are the Hoosics and Greylocks.

Of course, the quality of the stone depends on its use. There are a number of closed quarries in the area but I wonder if anyone has looked at the costs lately, given the high cost of oil to transport raw stone. The one large operation that currently operates is here: SMI: Specialty Minerals - Home
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:35 AM
 
673 posts, read 2,534,337 times
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Being close to stone would certainly help the margins re: shipping costs. Right now, a lot of stone is shipped from China and Brazil.

Wyoming has appeal to us because it is rugged and less densely populated. (We used to live in Arizona and loved it.) But how harsh are the winters? (Arizona spoiled us.)
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