Business picking up for CBD
WHEN Beverley Tainsh decided to give up nursing and open her first retail store, she decided Magellan Street in Lismore was the place to be.
She is one of at least seven small and large retailers who have already, or are planning to, open outlets in the CBD as business confidence rises and empty shops once again hum to the sound of cash registers.
“Magellan Street was the street I chose,” Ms Tainsh said.
“I didn’t want to be in any of the others. I like the idea of the outdoor dining, the one-way street and the whole amb- iance of the street.”
With a part-time staff of one, Ms Tainsh opened home and house store Magella Rose in February. So confident is she about her shop’s future, Ms Tainsh has employed a business coach to help grow the store.
“I wanted to give the people of Lismore the opportunity to buy nice things without going out of town, that’s why I stock Laura Ashley and other nice things that Lismore didn’t have,” she said.
Whether it is Ms Tainsh’s store, the return of Lincraft, the arrival of Dan Murphy’s, or the other shops, cafes and restaurants that have opened in the last couple of months, John Patterson, from the Lismore Chamber of Commerce, said it all pointed to a resurgent CBD.
“From the chamber’s perspective it is very exciting that occupancy rates are now very high,” he said.
“We believe it represents the efforts made by council, the city centre manager and the chamber in a collective spirit to regenerate the CBD.”
Mr Patterson said that after being buffeted by the global financial crisis, confidence had returned to CBD businesses, which were now looking to grow and provide a wider range of goods.
“There is a positive mood among Lismore businesses today that the CBD is a prosperous place to do business,” he said.
Mr Patterson said Woodlark Street was returning to normal after its upgrade with a full shop occupancy rate.