Shop owner closes doors amidst concern for CBD future
"I AM sad to be closing our doors as I have had a fabulous 15 years and met so many wonderful people.”
The current owner of Boutique Shoes, (formerly Bondfields Shoes), Susan Bennett, said she wanted to thank the people of Lismore for supporting the store through its 52 years if business.
Ms Bennett said since taking over the Molesworth St business in 2004 she has been fortunate to meet some lovely people.
Looking around her light and bright shop which is having a 40 per cent closing sale, Ms Bennett said she believed three key factors were behind Lismore's retail downturn.
"Lismore has not yet fully recovered from the flood of 2017,” she said.
"Added to this we have a council whose rate charges for the CBD are higher than other councils within the Northern Rivers area.
"Sadly our Council cannot be classified as progressive.”
Ms Bennett said also changes in people's chopping habits include being greatly influenced by bigger shopping centres such as Robina Pacific Fair, the internet with over $100 million per year being spent spent outside Lismore and surrounds.
Ms Bennett said locals should consider the impact they make on local businesses.
"Imagine what Lismore would be like if this money was spent locally,” she said.
"The future of all regional towns across Australia is in the hands of these councils and their residents, always remember local business employ local people.”
Over the past five decades, Bondfields was considered a destination shoe boutique for the well-dressed woman going to weddings, balls, special events and the races.
It's also a sad day for the Lismore CBD, which was revealed in December 2018 to have 45 vacant shopfronts and at the time Council said the CBDs vacancy rate was 8.57 per cent.
Lismore mayor Cr Isaac Smith said he believed more needed to be done to help small businesses in the CBD.
Lismore City Council have been approached for comment.