Lismore's back and open for business
LOVE is in the air around the Lismore CBD with dozens of businesses either displaying open signs are bearing notices indicating when they will be trading.
While the heart flags are one indication of the city's resilience, all the signs in many shops and business windows show there's a lot of grit in the people who run the retail and services which keep the city going.
"We are open yay," said one sign, its handwriting indicating a child's delight her parents have cleaned and re-opened their shop.
And there are dozens and dozens of similar signs adorning the windows and doors of cafes, boutiques, lingerie, food, book and homewares stores, banks, hairdressers, shoe shops, art, record, music, you-name it - not to mention professional services operators all over town.
Figures from the recent Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey showed approximately 77% of business affected by the Cyclone Debbie storms and flood said they plan to re-open.
This is good news, but for many, how long they can stay open is another story.
At the Lismore Chamber of Commerce meeting on Thursday morning, many people indicated their frustration over a dire combination of the expense of flood insurance, confusion and disagreement amongst insurers regarding the definition of what caused damage.
While they were unified in appreciating the Category C funding, many said they felt it would be years before they caught up to where they were financially pre-2017 flood.
Meanwhile, many business-people said they were happy to be open again and looking forward to once again being part of the bustling Lismore CBD community.
At the SG Asian Supermarket, co-manager Liz Hung and Niall MacLeod said after cleaning, repairing and restocking the shop, it was a great relief to be back in business.
"We are really happy to be open again," Ms Hung said.
Mr MacLeod said as soon as a replacement machine arrived from China, they would be able to again sell their popular dumplings.