The Berkshires used to be home to a vibrant manufacturing sector that provided jobs and economic vitality as it produced quality products made from the region’s resources. According to the 2010 Census, Berkshire County’s top economic sectors today are retail, construction, accommodations and food service, healthcare and professional services. Currently, almost all of the goods we buy here are imported from other regions. This gives us the opportunity to grow our economy by replacing some of those imports with goods produced right here at home. This is the goal of Community Supported Industry.
The Berkshires is blessed with renewable resources — hardwood forests, rivers and agriculture — that can provide energy and inputs to make the things people need and want. Historically, furniture, paper, tools, wool, leather, food, grain, maple syrup, spirits, glass and marble were produced here. All of these were produced by local businesses employing local residents, and items were sold in local shops as well as exported to other regions. Community Supported Industry can re-establish that value chain — from resource to production to distribution and sale — by capitalizing local entrepreneurs.
This survey is designed to identify gaps and potential opportunities for new businesses, industries, and entrepreneurs in the Berkshire region. Help strengthen our local economy by sharing your ideas.