Keep manufacturing in New England cities' mix


From Robert Whitcomb’s “Digital Diary,’’ in

‘A healthy economy includes a mix of services, technology and manufacturing. Such a mix of sectors, each with somewhat different business cycles, can better maintain their regions’ stability than if they had to depend on just one type of business.

But rising rents and other local costs can drive out manufacturing from rich regions, as a Jan. 5 Boston Globe story reports in focusing on the challenges of soaring rent facing CommonWealth Kitchen, a Boston food-startup incubator and a food manufacturer. As The Globe’s great Jon Chesto notes:

“Sure, Boston stands to gain when new apartments, offices, and labs sprout out of shabby old industrial properties: more workers to feed the tech economy, maybe, or more taxes for the city’s coffers. But Boston loses something important, too.’’

And, at least until the robots kill the humans, we’re going to need food. So food companies would seem to be a strong part of our economic future and relatively resistant to recessions. Let’s encourage them. All this is a reason why United Natural Foods’s moving its headquarters to Providence from Dayville, Conn., in 2009 was very good news for Providence’s economy.

To read Mr. Chesto’s article, please hit this link.