Gunnedah is throwing their support behind their businesses, a welcome morale boost for many struggling with the impacts of COVID-19.
And businesses themselves have been taking advantage of the council's business stimulus package, which is alleviating some stress as they move reopening.
Chamber of Commerce president Juliana McArthur said it was incredibly reassuring to see the community back local.
It's been great, the community is supporting our local businesses and we must continue.Juliana McArthur
"It's been great, the community is supporting our local businesses and we must continue," Ms McArthur said.
"There is still a long way to go to recover from the double whammy with the drought and the COVID-19."
Doing 'surprisingly well'
Ms McArthur said many businesses were in a good place, looking at the results of a member survey checking to see how they were coping.
One question sought to determine how businesses were coping both financially and emotionally.
"Most people were between 6 and 10, so doing surprisingly well," Ms McArther explained.
However 62 per cent of businesses who responded said they could not apply for the $10,000 small business grant, with the impossibility of proving a 75 per cent loss in revenue from the COVID-19 crisis.
The 75 per cent threshold was too high. We've just come out of a drought, and in terms of comparison, it was difficult to show the impact of the virus because they were already drought affected.Juliana McArthur
"The 75 per cent threshold was too high. We've just come out of a drought, and in terms of comparison, it was difficult to show the impact of the virus because they were already drought affected," Ms McArthur stated.
There was also a 50/50 split between businesses getting the JobKeeper allowance. Half were eligible or would be applying, and the other half were ineligible or wouldn't be pursuing that option.
"Our last question was to try and gauge when we could lift the restrictions, and 60 percent said they wanted to open in mid May, which is what has happened.
"I have to say the main street was buzzing ahead of Mothers' Day which was fantastic."
Mayor Jamie Chaffey said while the figures hadn't been crunched, they had seen a good response to their second round of their business partner program, even though registrations closed May 29.
It's part of the Gunnedah Shire Community Resilience - COVID-19 Business Support Package approved by council at their last meeting.
"The [stimulus package] has been well received from business and from the local chamber," Mr Chaffey said.
"In fact the whole program was put together with council and the local chamber of commerce, a relationship cherished by council as we continue to build on how the council and business community can work together to recover."
He said council were aware more is needed, and is currently looking at next stage of support as restrictions are eased.
We are understand there is more to do, and council as a business ourselves, we are now assessing how we may change as certain restrictions are lifting, and working on a phased approach to back to normal.Jamie Chaffey
"We are understand there is more to do, and council as a business ourselves, we are now assessing how we may change as certain restrictions are lifting, and working on a phased approach to back to normal."
Taking advantage of offer
Gunnedah's Mannion Drilling were a successful applicant in the first round of the Business Partner program, and general manager Jacinta Mannion said she was absolutely recommend other businesses taking advantage.
While their program is still in the works, with their extension of four offices and a training room yet to be built, she said so far the benefits have been fantastic.
The Gunnedah council is really supportive and have given us a good support base and network, it's been very productive.Jacinta Mannion
"It was really good ... we used those funds to draft a design for the admin extension of the office.
"It's been hugely beneficial, because it has enabled us to have better access to more specialised services to get the best end result for our project."
She said the program allowed businesses to explore other avenues, innovating new ways of working, which could only be a good thing during the Coronacrisis.
"It helps the business internally, and also the community - you might get a local web designer, a photographer for the website, so the chain effect flows on down the line," Mrs Mannion said.
"The Gunnedah council is really supportive and have given us a good support base and network, it's been very productive."