A TOWN hurt by arsenic contamination in its water will look to state and federal governments to help its reputation.
Uralla businesses have been hit hard by poisoned water that can't even be used for brushing teeth.
The once-bustling tourist town known for bushranger Captain Thunderbolt and a thriving coffee culture is struggling.
Councillors voted to seek upwards of $15,000 from state and federal governments to promote the town with a map of businesses, a visitor from a travel writer and a social media campaign.
Mayor Michael Pearce said it's about letting tourists know the town is still open for business.
"Personally I haven't received any negative feedback, I know it's been a lot quieter because of the drought and recent bushfires - it's a culmination of things," he said.
"I think like any community you do your best to put forward the best possible picture, we're mad if we don't look at every ace up our sleeve.
"It's about maintaining the status quo and unfortunately we have an issue with arsenic."
Residents were alerted to toxic levels of arsenic in the town water supply from Kentucky Dam in December.
Since then, they have been warned to use bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth and food preparation.
Cafe owners have had to fork out hundreds of dollars in some cases to change coffee machines to new water sources, while pubs have had to stop using pre-mix for drinks.
The motion to promote the shire was put forward by councillor Tara Toomey, a business owner in the town herself.
Cr Toomey reported that the alert about the elevated arsenic levels had led some travellers and customers to rethink visiting the shire.
"Considering the hard-won reputation as a food, wine, shopping and dining destination that Uralla Shire businesses have established over the years, this is an unacceptable perception that council has an obligation to proactively address," she said in the report.
"The introduction of a map of the Uralla Shire that identifies the many food, beverage, shopping and dining venues and businesses is long overdue and would help repair the damage done by the recent media coverage which has all the wrong connotations."
The councillors hope that using a travel writer who is familiar with the shire and fond of it would be a good first step.
At least $5000 is expected to be put toward the development of a promotional video for social media to promote Uralla as a destination.
The map of businesses in the shire is a project Cr Toomey has tried to develop for some time.
At the meeting councillors felt the map was a good idea but that it would need to identify more than just food, wine, shopping and dining destinations to include hotels, motels and caravan parks.
The council will now approach state and federal governments.