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CreativeNEXT explores ways to help economy rebound

Date: 8/1/2012

By Katelyn Gendron

INDIAN ORCHARD — With the precarious state of the economy, businesses and state government must find "creative" solutions to promote recovery. That was the message relayed by Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray during his latest stop at Indian Orchard Mills on July 26 as part of his 21-appearance CreativeNEXT listening tour, which began earlier this month.

According to the Patrick-Murray Administration's Creative Economy Industry Director Helena Fruscio, Murray and members of the Creative Economy Council are "meeting with businesses, organizations and individuals working in design, film, media, publishing, visual and performing art, music and architecture and video games to discuss the creative economy and its future in Massachusetts."

She explained, "That's why it's called CreativeNEXT, it's all about what we can do next [to help the creative economy grow]."

Fruscio added that the creative economy industry accounts for $1 billion in revenue and employs 100,000 people across the state.

Murray added of Indian Orchard Mills, "It's this type of business and shops that create a unique community for themselves. We always like to see buildings reused in different ways."

Indian Orchard Mills is a 130-tenant, 300,000 square-foot property that houses a variety of businesses from graphic design firms to artist studios to machine shops. Murray visited a variety of businesses during the tour, including 42 Design, which, according to its office manager Christine Harris, primarily designs museum exhibits.

"It's really important for state government to keep [an eye on businesses like ours]. We're five to 10 people struggling to grow [as a businesses] and anything they can do to help us little guys grow is appreciated," Harris said.

Charles Brush, owner of Indian Orchard Mills, said, "One of the benefits of this facility is that as you grow as a business, you can grow here [moving to a larger space]."

One such business that has been able to expand at the Mills throughout the past few years is Grand Prix International, a board game manufacturer, which has doubled in size, Brush explained.

"We'll do this one job at a time," Murray said of helping economic recovery. "We're trying to listen and learn and help the economy rebound."