Business Insights Forum


As part of Lismore City Council’s commitment to supporting local businesses, we recently hosted a Business Insights Forum for businesses operating in our region.

Special guest presenter, Ryan James from .id, provided insights on the current macro environment, exploring the trends, challenges, and opportunities that impact businesses on a broader scale. Council then provided a overview of trends and changes in local spending across the region, identified through Spendmapp data.

You can access a copy of the presentation slides here(PDF, 5MB) , with a snapshot of key data and trends provided below (as at 3 August 2023).

You can also watch a recording of the session. 


Snapshot of key data and trends

The Macro Environment

  • There is a range of significant global events impacting our economy locally in Lismore. These include extreme weather events like the major drought in Europe, negative economic growth in the US, cash rate rises across 45 countries in the last six months, and ongoing impacts of the global pandemic.
  • On a national level, the Australian economy has slowed, at 2.3% GDP growth. Increasing cash rates are impacting house prices, with inflation starting to ease at 6%. Cost of living pressures continue, while unemployment levels remain at an all-time low around 3.5%.

Our Local Story

  • Lismore’s population growth has remained relatively flat over a 16-year period. According to ABS data, Lismore’s resident population in June 2022 was 44,202, a 0.32% decline on the previous year, compared to population growth in regional NSW of 0.89%.
  • Lismore has 4,310 local businesses, contributing to a Gross Regional Product (GRP) of $2.66 billion (June 2022), representing a 5% increase on the previous year.
  • Home to two major regional hospitals, over 25% of Lismore residents are employed in Health Care and Social Assistance. This industry has shown significant growth over the past 10 years, with nearly 2000 additional people employed over 2012 -2022. This is more than double the next growth industry, Construction.
  • Lismore has a higher reliance on cash benefits as a source of income, when compared to regional NSW, with a lower proportion of business income.
  • An increasing number of residents are obtaining a Bachelor or Higher degree, and the median household income across all areas of the Lismore LGA has increased since 2016.

Our Visitor Economy

  • Following the flood events in February and March 2022, it took five months for spending to approach 2021 levels.
  • While visitor spend locally has increased over the 2022-2023 period by 21%, the amount our residents are spending outside of the Lismore LGA has also increased year on year, with escape spend growing by 24% in the 12 months to June 2023.
  • Thursday and Friday are Lismore’s busiest, when considering average daily and nightly spend.

You can access the Profile .id data here

If there are important topics or themes that you would like us to cover at future forums, please share your suggestions via email to