Best and Less to reopen, others not

Best and Less in Lismore after the flood.
Best and Less in Lismore after the flood. Marc Stapelberg

LISMORE'S Best and Less on Keen St is finally reopening this week, four months on from the Cyclone Debbie flood.

Best and Less CEO Rodney Orrock said the bottom floor of the building was completely submerged in the flood, with all clothes and equipment destroyed.

A complete refit with new fixtures, signage, and operational equipment was needed. silver lining was the store has now negotiated access to solar panels recently fitted to the building. It will be the first Best and Less in Australia to be powered by solar.

"We are really excited to be back and be part of the Lismore community again," Mr Orrock said. "Our store opens on August 3 and we have face painting for the kids on opening day, as well as Saturday (August)12."

Mr Orrock said all of the store's five permanent employees (three full-time, two part-time) worked at Best and Less's Ballina store during the closure period. An additional four casuals were also offered work there.

Two other franchises, Dominoes and Subway located in the fast food precinct off McLennan's Lane are also reopening in an estimated four to six weeks. Tradesmen are busy working at those premises now.

Radio Rentals, which prior to the flood operated from a Molesworth St shop, is still waiting for a refurbishment of the premises but is operating directly from its warehouse in Goonellabah.

But the fate of two other chain stores is still under a cloud. It's still unknown whether Lismore's Telstra shop on Molesworth St, a licensee store, will eopen.

The future of Rivers menswear on the corner of Carrington and Conway is also unknown.

A spokeswoman from owner Speciality Fashion Group said the store was originally scheduled to reopen in June. But the premises, in Lismore Central, has been vacant for weeks since then.

Sadly, some well known Lismore small businesses will not reopen after the floods. Scott's News on Molesworth St is closed, as well as the North Lismore general store.

Michael Try, one of the owners of the Bridge St family business, said the flood was the "final straw" for the shop after several other unfortunate events. But "it was a great little business," he added.

It's the third newsagency to close after Scott's, and South Lismore in Lismore. The only remaining newsagents are in Lismore Central and Lismore Square.

Topics:  northern rivers business northern rivers flood

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