Martin busily soul searching
The owner of Sole Bros Footwear in Byron Bay for more than 10 years, Mr Kelleher has seen a noticeable change, so he's not surprised by the findings of the latest National Australia Bank business survey.
"We're not getting the numbers we were or the turnover we were and it's happening everywhere. Everyone I speak to says the same thing," he said.
"Your rent's going up every year, but the turnover's not going up.
"But it's happened remarkably quickly. Since Christmas, that's what everyone's saying."
The Australia-wide monthly business survey and economic outlook conducted by the NAB for March showed a 'significant broad-based slowing in domestic demand and business conditions' and no sign of the rapid deterioration in business confidence rebounding.
The survey also acknowledged interest rate rises have impacted on how people spend their money.
Lismore Chamber of Commerce president Mark Willoughby agreed businesses have suffered this year but feels Lismore has fared better than others.
"Local businesses have had a downturn, I don't think it's been as significant as in a lot of other regional areas," he said.
"A lot of local businesses are quite proactive at marketing themselves. Service-type businesses like cafes seem to be managing their turnover well. I think it's the businesses selling bigger ticket items that are not doing so well.
"People have less disposable income so by the time you pay an extra $50 or $60 on a mortgage you might put off buying a plasma TV or a new lounge."