Small shops tackle big issues

A NEW collective of small business owners gathered in Lismore on Friday to share ideas and help each other through tough economic times.

The gathering was the brainchild of Julie Wheeler, of Lismore's House of Books.

Mrs Wheeler hosted the business luncheon in her bookstore with the aim of boosting not only her own business, but that of the town's other small shops.

She said that it was a chance for small business owners to get to know each other and network.

“Some of us are struggling and I thought it would be a great idea for us to get together once a month to talk about what is happening and give each other ideas - ideas that could boost our business,” Mrs Wheeler said.

She said that she did not want the collective to compete with the Lismore Chamber of Commerce, but thought that the group could complement the work that is done by the chamber.

“The chamber provides an important role for business in Lismore and we do not want to work against it and I hope we can work together,” Mrs Wheeler said.

Page MP Janelle Saffin, who also attended the luncheon, said Mrs Wheeler had shown a great deal of initiative to host the event.

“What a great woman Lismore businesswoman Julie Wheeler is,” she said.

“It was her idea to bring together small business operators and retailers over a pleasant Friday lunch, where all had an opportunity to discuss their issues in common and ones of concern.

“Also flagged were many good ideas for the promotion of the Lismore town centre.

“Well done, Julie. It is your enterprising spirit displayed in business and community that makes the Lismore CBD a good place to be.”

Mrs Wheeler's entrepreneurial flair doesn't end with her networking abilities.

Eighteen months ago, she was out of work so she bought herself a job by buying her business.

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