Former Music Club Now Incubator

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The manager of a new entrepreneurial hub in Gary says the space stands out for its service to the region's creatives and makers, who often have to find space in places like Chicago. The Stage Gary Small Business Incubator and Coworking Space is located in the old Carmella's Stage on Shelby building, a former music club in the city's Miller neighborhood. Gretchen Sipp says the facility has a "quieter side" -- the coworking space -- and the "creative side" -- which serves as space for art studios, crafters and other artisans.

Sipp tells Inside INdiana business the space creates "an internal network of support" for entrepreneurs. She says the city supports The Stage and has partnered to help entrepreneurs with business and strategic planning, as well as product development. "People don't have to take on the full brunt of actually starting something. They have someone to support them throughout and help them create a system that allows them to be sustainable and last."

The building is adaptable and is the site of the occasional pop-up shop and weekly programs designed to engage the startup community. Currently, Sipp says the space fits well for fields ranging from virtual assistants and coders to visual artists and craft instructors. She says the space can also be rented for performing arts uses. The Stage is one of a handful of coworking spaces in the region, joining others including Open Door Coworking in La Porte, Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana in Merrillville, Zoseco Coworking in Valparaiso and greenCOW in Hammond.

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