Consumers starting to spend again has come at a time when BLM is urging customers to use black-owned stores, something which Harlem excels in. As a result, there’s been huge demand for Harlem products. According to CNN, a major concern is that many consumers will not persist with their buying habits and leave black-owned businesses when BLM becomes less visible in the media and there’s a wider range of shops available; a factor in this is whether or not a business has the capacity to meet the entirety of its new demand. As a result, focus has shifted towards engineering solutions and what technology can do to help aid demand in manufacturing while keeping it sustainable in the long-term.
Upping the ante
Harlem businesses are restarting a storied history of manufacturing within the city. Clothes, hardware, furniture and luxuries are being produced within the city, with Teri Johnson’s Harlem Candle a recent feature in Daily Beast that attests to this trend. Scaling up manufacturing can be notoriously tough, and especially so within the city; real estate is at a premium, after all. New technological trends within manufacturing are helping this to be less of a barrier, with the use of industrial ovens one such example. Developments in oven technology mean that a broad variety of applications can be scaled to all sizes of business and needs, while also retaining a key element of progressive business – sustainability.
The case for sustainability in small business is twofold – firstly, helping the planet is not only an ethical choice but one that will coincide with multiple pieces of state and federal regulations. Secondly, it reduces overheads and helps businesses to keep turning bigger profits. Clean energy is being made more widely available across New York and, as outlined by TechCrunch, developments are making it cheaper and more easily obtained. In their analysis, they focus on the rapid move toward solar and wind in manufacturing-specific purposes; that is, where energy can be fed at the sufficient technical specification needed for industry.
Perhaps the best way to meet demand, and the most character-matching to the Harlem community, is through cooperative manufacturing. According to WWD, businesses are already pooling resources for clothes manufacturing, with a particular focus on helping graduates get their foot on the fashion design ladder. By coming together to help everyone manufacture in this way, small businesses can help to level out the peaks and troughs in their own order patterns and provide that capability elsewhere. Paired with sustainable, progressive technology, this is a recipe for success for Harlem that should help to elevate the community to new levels.
With that new level of capability will come profit and a resilience to risk that means the future looks brighter. It’s hard to understate the benefit of being able to take on greater order levels, with growth, reputation and success coming the way of businesses who invest wisely. In the long run, this will be to the enrichment of the entirety of Harlem.