NEW data shows the risk of business insolvency in Tamworth is on the rise - and that was before the COVID-19 crisis hit.
Data compiled by specialist firm SV Partners in early March shows two per cent of Tamworth businesses are at risk of going under, up from 1.2 per cent last year.
The company's director Daniel Quinn said local businesses are facing challenges on multiple fronts.
"Recent rain provided some reprieve for Tamworth, but the ongoing pandemic compounding on the recent bush fires and lingering drought may force some businesses into an unfixable financial downfall," he said.
The Commercial Risk Outlook Report for 2020 shows the city's accommodation and food service industries could be the hardest hit.
The New England North West is faring reasonably well compared to other areas of NSW - it has slightly more businesses in the high risk category than areas like the Mid North Coast, but less than areas like Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
PKF Australia partner Simon Thorn assists companies and individuals in financial distress across regional NSW, and said it's not all doom and gloom.
He said although COVID-19 is packing a punch to local industry, government decisions to change insolvency laws in Australia have helped soften the blow for some owners.
"People should not jump into insolvency, they should be trying to press pause on their business where they can ... hopefully on the other side of this, whenever that is, they can start up again and build back up," he said.
Numbers and statistics have played a huge part in the inundation of COVID-19 information over the past few weeks, but Mr Thorn said it's important people remember there are names and faces behind the company.
"There is a significant concern around mental health ... we need to start reminding people to talk to each other, the person across the street is probably going through the same thing," he said.
Mr Thorn said the situation is fluid and recommended all businesses have a reliable advisor to "lean on".