Manufacturing Businesses: Is It Worth Your Investment?

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Technology startups dominate the headlines. Yet there are still many other industries that continue to power this country behind the scenes. Some have dismissed manufacturing in the U.S. as a dying industry, but changes are already underway. For example, places like the so-called Rust Belt are finding innovative ways to keep manufacturing alive. This include many family-owned manufacturing businesses.

Foreign investment is focusing on such areas, and domestic companies are bringing their manufacturing plants back home. This creates opportunities for freelancers and startup organizations to be part of a new growth industry. Similarly, those in manufacturing can invest in new technology and leverage gig workers to help scale up their operations.

The Return of U.S. Manufacturing

In a Century Foundation report on why manufacturing jobs should be saved, statistics show that these jobs and the development of new ones in this industry are part of what has helped the U.S. economy recover after the 2008 financial crisis. The report found that manufacturing has grown, regaining 945,000 jobs from 2010 to 2017. Subsectors  now account for 52.6 percent of national manufacturing jobs as of January 2017. These include such as transportation, machinery, food products, and chemicals.

The report also noted that foreign investment is increasing, indicating that others outside of the U.S. see the benefits of investing in this industry. In fact, “real foreign direct investment in manufacturing surged to $243 billion in 2015, up from $117 billion in 2007.” While foreign investment is coming from many countries, “China alone will invest $2 trillion overseas in the next 10 years. Much of that is destined for new manufacturing plants here in the U.S.”

Greasing the Wheels of Investment in the Rust Belt

That said, it’s not just foreign investors who see the potential of the Rust Belt. As an established leader in the middle-market investor market, Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Blackford Capital is a national private equity firm focused on investor satisfaction. In looking for deal sourcing opportunities, the firm has turned its attention to the Rust Belt, and particularly to middle-market — often family-owned — manufacturing firms.

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