Local businesses have had to adapt to meet the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, but the restrictions have resulted in some hidden benefits.
For King's Antiques and Collectables, the influx of tourists from across the state since mid-last year has helped the business recuperate from a tough 2019-20 summer period caused by drought and bushfires.
"Since August last year, we've experienced a regular flow of customers, which has been pleasing after a difficult period the year before," Ms King said.
"With international travel currently off the cards, I guess more people are eager to browse and spend money in the regions."
Ms King said the store attracts all sorts of customers, from the expected to the surprising.
"There is no typical customer: you get everyone from the elderly antique enthusiasts to collectors of all ages and even those who are drawn specifically to vintage wares," she said.
"The growth in popularity of sustainable shopping has certainly helped us as far as the younger demographic is concerned."
Although COVID-19 has heightened concerns in the community around where visitors have been, with Bathurst almost nine months COVID-free, Ms King said the statistics indicate locals and visitors are carefully heeding the government's health advice.
"In the last six months, the visitors we've been getting have been very careful adhering to the guidelines and with no COVID cases in Bathurst for nearly nine months, it shows most visitors are making sensible decisions," she said.
"The recent COVID alert in Orange hasn't resulted in any new cases as of yet either, so that's also a confident sign."
With January typically a quieter time for businesses, Ms King said the influx of visitors travelling regionally in lieu of international travel could prove beneficial for the local economy.
"Because people aren't going overseas or, in many cases, interstate, there's quite a possibility local businesses will have a busier January than normal," she said.
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