Floods can't dampen Lismore businesses
AFTER the adrenaline of surviving the floods, rescuing stock from the floodwater and cleaning out their premises of the mud, filth and debris left behind, business owners in Lismore are looking forward to seeing their customers.
On Tuesday while the state Minister for Small Business and Deputy Premier John Barilaro, announced a million-doller fund to kick-start flood-affected businesses, all over the CBD, retailers were doing their best to get back on track.
During the dark days of the flood, all the reatilers expressed the hope residents would flock back to the centre of Lismore and support them once they opened their doors again.
When Glenn Cain heard his Betta Home Living store in Lismore was badly impacted by the floods, he immediately left Sydney to view the damage at the business which employs 19 people.
Together with shop manager Brad Gosling, staff, family and friends, Mr Cain has been hard at work cleaning up and sorting out flood-damaged stock.
Now Mr Cain who is the second generation of his family to own and operate the Betta Casino and Lismore stores, is already open and selling some items.
"We have plenty of small appliances, beds, mattresses and laundry white goods," he said, in between sorting out the rest of the retail and back-office floorspace.
"We have 19 people working here and we started cleaning out on the Sunday."
Heather McDiarmid who operates the Night Owl convenience store a few doors down in Woodlark St, is hopeful their previously busy trade will resume.
Ms McDiarmid who has lived in the area for 23 years, recently took over the business and echoed the fact she felt flood insurance was too costly for small businesses.
"On Monday we were cleaning our shop and a man stuck his head in and asked if were open," she said.
"He said he wanted a cigarette lighter and we moved on from there."
Now Ms McDiarmid, her staff and volunteers have cleaned the premises thoroughly and it is back to it's pre-flood sparkle.
"More than 50 people came in and helped us get back trading," she said.
With a positive attitude, she is taking one day at a time.
"We've just paid off our Christmas stock and we hope people will here for Easter eggs," she said.
"Most of the suppliers have been understanding."
In the Strand Arcade off Molesworth St, Robyn Lattimer of Femme Mystique said her lingerie shop had been covered in mud and she had lost stock.
"This is my 25th year in business," she said.
Next door, Julia Taranto of My Tailoress Boutique managed to evacuate her couture dresses before the flood. "We opened last Thursday for girls wanting dresses for balls and weddings," she said.
On Ballina Rd (Bruxner Hwy) the liquor store Dan Murphy is still closed, however, a Woolworths spokesman said the Dan Murphy's team are making every effort to open our store for customers as soon as possible.
Red heart flags are being hung at Lismore businesses to symbolise the CBD's resilience as the region continues its road to recovery after floods ravaged the city.