NEW BUSINESS: Stylish salon Saint Hair was opened by Eve Kearney six weeks ago in Keen St, Lismore.
NEW BUSINESS: Stylish salon Saint Hair was opened by Eve Kearney six weeks ago in Keen St, Lismore. Alison Paterson

Cafes and hair salons, Lismore has plenty of them

WHEN times are tough your hair and coffee intake can suffer.

But when the economy improves so do your locks and caffeine levels.

Or do they?

Long-time anecdotal economic indicators, the number of hairdressers and cafes in an area have often been used to tell when the economy improves.

Certainly a walk around the Lismore CBD at 7.30am, there's around 20 coffee shops open, all with a mixture of tradies, retailers, office workers and parents getting their Monday java hit.

This doesn't include the myriad of fast-food places or even the local Blood Bank, where your coffee comes free after you donate some of the red stuff.

It seems Lismore can't get enough good coffee, with several new kids on the block and some old favourites keeping our energy levels buoyant.

With a population in Lismore City of around 27,500, this is around 1000 people for every hairdressing salon and cafe.

According to research undertaken by Roy Morgan, Australia's biggest coffee drinkers are people who work long hours - and parents.

Their research showed in the year to December 2013, those who worked 60 or more hours in any given week consumed an average 10.1 cups weekly, compared to 8.6 cups for non-workers or 8.8 cups for those who worked 35 to 39 hours.

Let's face it, Lismore is a town of hard workers, so there's no doubt our caffeine levels need constant topping.

Hairdressers too, appear to be flourishing, with a quick count showing there's around 20 places to get your locks looked after in the Lismore CBD, not counting those in nearby suburbs,

In case you think this is a female-driven, nearly one third of salons are barbers concentrating on the fade cut, short back and sides and the moustache set.

And there's at least one new hairdressing salon has opened since the March flood.

Six weeks ago Eve Kearney opened up Saint Hair at 159 Keen St, near the corner of Magellan St.

And one entrepreneur has managed to combine both coffee and cutting at the Barbershop Espresso and Milkshake Bar.

However, Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-president, Andrew Gordon said anyone can run a successful business in the good times, it's the tough times which separate the really good from the just OK.

Mr Gordon said it's not so much about the type of business opening, as people having the initiative and the courage to enter the business arena.

"People go into their own business for a range of regions, and when times are bad it can be a good time to establish your business,” he said.

"Anyone can make it in good times, but to demonstrate the skills of your craft and the ethos in bad times is a massive kudos, and what we see every day is people take a risk of opening a shop and employing people, they dive in a have a go”.

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