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Northern Rivers’ creative industries need a boost

THE creative industries are an important part of the identity and culture of Northern Rivers, but we’re sliding behind State averages on key measures.

We need to be proactive to retain our stronghold as a regional creative hub.

Between 2006 and 2011, Census figures show the number of people employed in arts and recreation industries has remained stable at 1.4% of the region’s workforce, while the state average over the same time has increased from 1.4 to 1.5%.

During the same five-year period, the contribution of arts and recreation industries to Northern Rivers’ gross regional product has dropped from 1.6% to 0.9%, which shows the profitability of this creative sector is falling behind.

An important way for every industry to boost profitability is to source work outside the region, and the local regional development office is facilitating this for the creative sector through an upcoming event.

On August 28 and 29, entrepreneurs from across the country are converging on Byron Bay for Ric Richardson’s Innovation Pipeline event, and Regional Development Australia – Northern Rivers has set up a Trade Expo so creative professionals can pitch their services.

As the entrepreneurs are taught how to boost their numbers via crowd-funding campaigns (one of the presenters aimed to raise $25,000 and ended up with $573,760), our local creative professionals will have a chance to show these business owners what they can do to make campaigns savvy and slick.

It’s about linking local professionals such as graphic designers, videographers, copy writers and illustrators for a one-off project, and letting business relationships build.

Fast and reliable broadband is another important part of maintaining strong business ties remotely, and that’s a story for another day of The Numbers.