A FOCUS on shopping local and buying Australian-made products has helped some Tamworth businesses boom during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the country's economy taking a hit due to the coronavirus crisis, several local businesses have been recording increased trade during the lockdown.
Peel Valley Milk owner Todd Wilson said being considered a necessary service helped his business excel during the pandemic.
"To be honest, I got busier and we were quite lucky because a lot of the emphasis went onto shopping local and buying Australian goods," Mr Wilson told the Leader.
"We weren't like toilet paper or anything like that, but we were having trouble keeping up for a while that's for sure.
"I think for us it's starting to get back to normal a bit for us now and we're just really grateful for the local support during the lockdown."
Mr Wilson said the region's recent welcome rainfall had also played a vital part in the recent success.
"The seasons have helped a lot too because we have had a couple of pretty ordinary years season-wise and to get an autumn like we've got has been a nice change," he said.
"It's all positive and obviously there is a long way to go with everything, but at the moment things are looking a lot nicer than what they have been."
Farmer Bobs owner Brendan North echoed Mr Wilson's sentiments, saying locals were becoming more inclined to support independent businesses like his.
"I think there has been a shift in the way people shop retail-wise in a variety of ways," Mr North said.
"One is consumers are getting out there and are looking to buy through the independents, such as us, a fair bit more.
"They did that from the start of the height of the pandemic and fortunately for us they have kept coming."
Mr North said shopping at independent supermarkets had a flow-on effect to businesses and producers throughout the region.
"Peel Valley Milk is a great example as we carry their products and we are now probably selling roughly three times more than what we were before the pandemic started," he said.
"People are looking to support local products and have a sharp focus on Australian-made products."
Tamworth Business Chamber president Jye Segboer said many local businesses had adapted to the current economic climate.
"People are really starting to consider their purchases and are looking to support local wherever possible," Mr Segboer said.
"We've got many businesses report that they have received a lot of local support, which is very encouraging."
Mr Segboer said he would like to see the federal government continue to implement measures to support regional businesses.
"We know that Tamworth has had the third largest uptake of JobKeeper in the state and that is really sending a message that obviously businesses are trying to stay open," he said.
"We would hope, particularly for the tourism and events sectors, the government would continue JobKeeper past September possibly until the end of the year, or even through until March."