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Building on Success

Mirror Image image: The Pawtucket
silkscreen company's work was featured
on the cover of a national trade magazine.

1999 Annual Report of the Rhode Island
Economic Development Corporation

Mirror Image, Inc.: This high-tech silk-screening company recently moved from Cambridge, MA, to Rhode Island. The company's President, Rick Roth, says all but a handful of his employees are moving with the company because of the enormous benefits Rhode Island offers over its other New England states.

Rhode Island's average commute time of 15 minutes and easy access to 400 miles of shoreline were an easy sell, too. For Roth, it was a classic no-brainer. Having outgrown his facility in crowded Cambridge, he was preparing to close on a $2.7-million facility in Watertown, MA, when he learned from an RIEDC professional that he stood to reap great savings by moving to Rhode Island.

With assistance from the RIEDC and the City of Pawtucket, Roth was shown a converted Pawtucket mill building he eventually bought for less than $400,000. The building enabled Roth to double his office space, and came with an added special treat. Located in the city's emerging Arts and Entertainment District, the new site beckoned to many of the company's 25 employees who come from such fields as sculpture, painting, writing, music and illustration.

What impressed Roth most about the RIEDC was that it addressed his needs in much the same way the agency courts the very largest corporations. Mirror Image and a growing number of startups in biotechnology, software, e-commerce and electronics are finding that Rhode Island treats them like VIP's.

According to a list compiled in 1998 by Impression Magazine, Mirror Image is among the top 100 screen printers in the nation. The company turns around $2.6-million worth of screenprinting business each year, and expects to add about ten employees over three years.

Mirror Image President Rick Roth:"Four (company employees) will become first time homeowners," he said, regarding Rhode Island's cost-efficient, high-value housing market. "All of them feel like I've given them a 50-percent raise."

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