BUSINESSES across Bathurst are taking a big hit in order to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
On Sunday night, the NSW Government announced it would be implementing stage one of a lockdown across the state, forcing "non essential" businesses to close from midday on Monday.
Under the new rules, pubs and clubs, entertainment venues, indoor sport venues and places of worship were forced to close, while restaurants and cafes are restricted to providing takeout only.
Among the local businesses impacted is the Church Bar, which shut on Monday.
Manager Chris White described the situation as "very, very hard and very, very disappointing".
"Given the announcement [Sunday] night and looking at our business, we decided it's not financially viable for our business to stay open," he said.
He employs about 16 staff and had to deliver the devastating news to them that they would be out of work for the foreseeable future, urging his casual staff to go to Centrelink for support as soon as possible.
While he hopes to eventually re-open with the same staff, Mr White is unable to provide them or the community with any indication of when that might be.
"I don't think anyone can give that. It's all very grey on how this is going to work," he said, adding that the health crisis continues to change.
"... We want to do everything we can to support the guys as best we can and hopefully re-open with all of them, or most of them, when we can."
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In the meantime, Mr White is urging people to make the right choices to limit the spread of coronavirus.
"I hope everyone does do the right thing. If people don't listen to the experts, we aren't going to be the only victims," he said.
Although some businesses have been forced to close, the Bathurst Business Chamber is hoping to see the community support the ones that are able to remain open by shopping with them.
President Catherine Fitzsimons also hopes businesses can move online.
"We'd encourage local businesses that don't have an online service to think about if there is any way they can continue to deliver even just a portion of their goods or services via an online portal," Ms Fitzsimons said.
"And there are lots of cheap and quick ways of getting that set up without investing in a whole website - local marketplaces and Facebook, things like that.
"There are ways that every local business could find some way to offer something online and that would allow people in the community to continue to patronise the businesses."
The business chamber is also lobbying Bathurst Regional Council to provide relief to businesses, and passing on important information to the business community.
"We're receiving regular communications from Business NSW and the Australian Business Chamber and we are posting all of that information on our website so our members can get to that, or other members of the business community can," Ms Fitzsimons said.
"The situation of government support for businesses is very fluid. It continues to be updated every day and as we understand more of what those packages mean, we are certainly, through Business NSW, sharing that with our members."
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