AFTER a little tweaking, Lismore City Council's outdoor dining policy appears to have hit the spot among retailers.
So far, 13 businesses have signed up to the scheme in the Lismore CBD and more are expected to be confirmed soon in Nimbin.
The owner of Lismore's newest coffee shop, Peter Fleming from Cafe One One 4 in Keen St, said it came down to shopfront aesthetics and the draw factor.
"The on-street dining creates a good culture - having people sitting out there all morning, playing chess and socialising, is great for business," he said. "The application process was very smooth and I think it's a very fair set-up in terms of the fees and the structure of it.
"Getting businesses into the CBD seems to be a huge priority for this council and they've been incredibly helpful. The chamber of commerce has been fabulous as a liaison between the council and us."
The outdoor dining policy was introduced in an attempt to provide an equitable licensing system that could generate extra funds for the maintenance of city and village centres.
The council's contracts and property services co-ordinator, Ross Davies, said the previous ad hoc approach to outdoor dining didn't adequately cover the council or businesses for costs or public liability.
"We were not sure what the response would be but businesses have been fantastic and can obviously see the benefit of having a system that provides surety and a consistent approach to costs," he said.
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said councillors were also surprised to see so many cafes signing up first time around. "It makes good business sense and it makes our town centres feel alive," she said. Cafes with pre-existing contracts will be phased into the new policy as their leases come up for renewal.
Baskin and Robbins
Just Grounds Café, Lismore Pie Cart, Leo's Food Bar, Saffron Café, Goanna Bakery
Zen Sushi, La Baracca Café, New Tattersall's Hotel, Thai Satay Hut, Keen on Green Café, Café One One 4