Just one town in the region has recorded an increase in JobKeeper applications, which says to some we are finally seeing businesses become more financially stable as they return to near-normal training conditions.
Statistics released by the Australian Taxation Office show a rapid decline in the number of businesses applying for the wage supplement.
Business NSW regional manager Joe Townsend said he was pleased the data released by the Federal Government indicated some businesses no longer require the support of JobKeeper
Broken down by postcode, the Tamworth area has seen a 1.7 per cent decrease in business applying for JobKeeper from July to August.
Armidale has recorded a decrease of 1.1 per cent, Inverell a drop 1.6 per cent, the Gwydir Shire 1.2 per cent and the Liverpool Plains the biggest dip with 3.5 per cent.
Gunnedah postcodes have recorded no change from 447 applications in July with the same figure again in August.
Moree, however, was the only postcode grouping to experience an increase of applications, rising by 1.2 per cent.
On a national scale, preliminary data indicates around 450,000 fewer businesses and around two million fewer employees qualified for JobKeeper.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the "lower-than-forecast" take up of the JobKeeper Payment extension is "further evidence that Australia's recovery from this once-in-a-century pandemic is well underway".
The easing of restrictions, increasing business confidence, a return to near-normal trading has begun, Mr Townsend said.
"Up to August, we have seen nearly 11 per cent of these businesses transition into their new trading conditions and stop being eligible for JobKeeper.Joe Townsend
"During April when businesses were forced to shut, there were over 6200 businesses across the region qualify for JobKeeper," Mr Townsend explained.
"With the alternate measures, this helped businesses not only devastated by COVID, but also the bushfires and ongoing drought conditions."
While August's economy revealed some signs of stabilisation compared to previous quarters, our business conditions still remained challenging across most of the state.
"Up to August, we have seen nearly 11 per cent of these businesses transition into their new trading conditions and stop being eligible for JobKeeper," Mr Townsend said.
Business NSW's Business Conditions Survey in October revealed its first bounce in business confidence.
Mr Townsend concluded this was due to a business-led recovery push, and a roadmap to near-normal trading conditions.