The review was commissioned by the Lismore Business Promotion Panel in September 2012 and was undertaken by Dr Peter Vitartas and Ms Sarah Biersteker from Southern Cross Business School at Southern Cross University. The review was requested by the Panel in order to obtain feedback on the performance of the Program in order to identify directions for future promotional and 'revitalisation' activities in the city centre. The methodology included:

  • a literature review
  • a call for public submissions
  • in-depth discussion with Panel members
  • in-depth discussion with LUA business people
  • online Survey of Businesses
  • online Survey of Public

The review identified positive outcomes from the Lismore Business Promotion Program as well as highlighting areas where things could be improved to enhance the CBD’s image.

The review recognised the success of the ‘Lismore – Come to the Heart’ branding, the creation of an extensive calendar of events and activities ranging from community entertainment to retail promotions, and the launch of a comprehensive 'Come to the Heart' website featuring more than 450 businesses.

The report also noted that while members of the public who were surveyed felt CBD revitalisation activities so far had been successful, businesses didn’t always feel the same. It acknowledged that communications from the Promotion Program to businesses need to improve and cautioned that businesses appeared to rely too heavily on current CBD marketing activities rather than enhancing them with promotions of their own.

The overall findings of the report supported the continuation of the Lismore Business Promotion Program and recognised that a combination of the 'Lismore – Come to the Heart' branding and year-round events and activities has been positive for the CBD.

Of particular significance to this report is the level of business support for the continuation of the Additional SBRVL. 73% of the business survey respondents in the SCU Review supported the continuation, for the proposed 5 year period.

Posted: 2 July 2013

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