When business thrives flow through is felt

THERE was one thing visiting US small business advocate Alredo Oritz (page 5) said while in Lismore last week that really stuck with me. He said when small business was working well in regional centres everyone in the community felt the benefit.

Small business owners are the biggest employers in the regions and when shops and cafes and hotels are functioning, we can all enjoy a lifestyle provided by the region. Those businesses then use the professionals in town to do their legal and accounting work and the flow through is tangible. In the big capital cities there can be other factors at play that create successful businesses, not always localised to the immediate vicinity.

That is why it was so good to see The Dusty Attic open this past week. Not only do we get another cool place in which to hang - in this case Lismore's Lounge - but our musicians get a space in which to do their thing, and the markets have a new customer for their produce.

When a cluster of businesses pop up, a hub is created and investors move in. We saw this when outside investors bought the Bank of Queensland building on Woodlark St recently. I'm sure they were watching the hustle and bustle going on outside Flock and The French Bench and Blueys Cafe and The Richmond and Gollan Hotels, not to mention The new art gallery, and thought:"We want in”.

Ongmac on Conway St (front page) went through hell in the months after the flood. It is now Honda's number one power equipment dealership in the state. Really is quite amazing to think how far we've come in less than 18 months.