The Return Of America’s Industrial Cities

Some cities are making a comeback — or could be on the verge. Consider what you might accomplish if you made the move to living in industrial cities.

Economics talks of booms and busts, times when an area thrives and times when its fortunes falter. As many of the jobs in steel and manufacturing have moved overseas or been lost altogether, few cities have seen busts quite as dramatic and devastating as those experienced in places like Detroit and Cleveland.

But the inevitable cyclical nature of economics has these cities and others bouncing back from the hard rock bottom they hit when their job markets imploded. The resurgence taking place in this vacuum of unemployment and plummeting property values is nothing short of remarkable.

Low Cost Of Living

One of the greatest draws to contracting economies is the low cost of living. Property values are low, traffic is thin, and credit is cheap. The move to a struggling city can be very affordable compared to other cities, especially as you look to finance a business.

And the lower the cost of living in the new city, the easier it is to get there. Instead of lugging their own belongings to Detroit or Baltimore, entrepreneurs find that they can afford to move?thanks to the net gain they'll realize on selling their old home.

A cheaper city is easier for business, better for living, and more likely to create a sustainable economic arrangement for entrepreneurs.

A Thirst For Growth

In the post-Civil War South, thousands of opportunistic businessmen flooded the area, looking to take advantage of an area that was down on its luck and ripe with potential markets. Their arrival was not greeted warmly by the local residents, because their motives were so clearly parasitic.

Today's struggling cities are different. Both sides of the issue have a different viewpoint: New faces come in wanting to develop the cities as naturalized residents, and the local leadership has a very welcoming demeanor toward the arrival of fresh minds with new ideas to build back. Consequently, as these amped-up dreamers and doers come into recovering cities, they are receiving an enthusiastic and supportive welcome.

The Lure Of Entrepreneurship

To an artist, nothing is more appealing than a blank canvas. To an entrepreneur, nothing holds more potential than an untapped market.

When cities have gone through incredible economic losses, they inevitably begin finding scraps of commerce to begin rebuilding. As people begin to start earning a living again, even just a few of them, they begin to build a market for goods and services.

At some point, this rebuilt market reaches a critical mass that begins to attract other businesses. As they grow, these new companies start to hire locally, generating more income and making the initial market ever larger.

This is the most basic engine of economic growth, and it works the same in a recovering city as it does in a new one. Once the businesses start to come back, the city starts to come back.

A Work Force At The Ready

Part of that blank economic canvas is the availability of workers. In industrial cities, in spite of the exodus of unemployed workers, there is still a large base of skilled people. Some may still be drawing unemployment. Others may be underemployed in other fields that at least keep them in their home city. Still others have moved to other cities for work but would come back at a moment's notice.

Wherever they are, they are lurking in the background, waiting for the opportunity to get back to work. Whereas some entrepreneurs miss these workers in the camouflage of other work, an opportunistic entrepreneur understands that they need only to post a HELP WANTED ad before the personnel will emerge from the shadows and try to return to doing what they do best.

Entrepreneurs don't see struggling cities as disaster areas with no hope. They see those blank canvases, full of potential and just waiting for the right person to step in and create something amazing.

What do you think? Would you consider industrial cities for living? How do you decide where to live?

2 thoughts on “The Return Of America’s Industrial Cities”

  1. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance

    Interesting read, but it’d be great to see some stats on these matters. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I see this happening firsthand in Cleveland and Akron. Smart people chose to invest here – and how the cities are flourishing! Thanks for the article.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top