It is a tough time for businesses, especially small businesses, as NSW remains in lockdown as the delta variant of the corona virus outbreak continues to grow. However, Lismore City Council has announced its Business Activation Plan for both Lismore and Nimbin designed to help grow business in the towns.
Lismore City Mayor Vanessa Ekins welcomed the timely release of the Plan saying ‘With its unique old brick buildings and laneways, the CBD of Lismore is where our community comes together to socialise, share meals, shop and promenade. So too in Nimbin with its iconic streetscape.
‘Council believes it is crucial to keep both CBDs safe and interesting to encourage people into the area to support our local businesses.’
The plan was developed by Council’s Economic Development team which engaged the business community through workshops and an online survey, as well as working closely with the Business Activation Plan Working Group.
The Working Group comprised of representatives from Council, the Lismore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Nimbin Chamber of Commerce, the Lismore Square and Regional Development Australia – Northern Rivers.
‘The Business Activation Plan aims to do this by providing amenity in summer with more shade and seating, giving people reasons to walk by wayfinding through our laneways and rainbow walking track, buy local campaigns and micro grants for businesses,’ said Mayor Ekins.
‘When our shared spaces are exciting to visit, and events give us more reason to go downtown, our community benefits and so do the businesses we rely on. I am looking forward to seeing this plan in action.’
The Working Group identified four simple themes to underpin the plan: Vibrancy to encourage more people to visit and connect with our CBDs, Experience to ensure our streets are safe and attractive; Promotion to showcase local events, attractions and the business community; and Support to help existing and new businesses to flourish.
The plan is also COVID-conscious and encourages businesses to use digital tools for events and engagement, including going virtual if necessary to promote our local businesses and community to wider audiences.
Lismore City Council’s General Manager Michael Donnelly thanked the Working Group for developing the new plan.
‘It is important that all of our stakeholders, such as the chambers of commerce and the Square, have a say in how we bring more people into our CBDs,’ he said.
‘As a Council we are committed to working with our business sector to ensure they can continue to grow and provide jobs for our community. By working together, we can put in place plans and actions that benefit not only our business community but also the wider community.’
A new Working Group will be established to implement, monitor and review the plan.