The impact of coronavirus on daily life and Dubbo's economy is deepening as more stringent measures come into place, with tough decisions being made across the board.
Dubbo Chamber of Commerce president Matt Wright reported there were businesses that had already laid off staff and some were considering an early closure in the hope they could reopen in three to six months time.
Some business owners were negotiating wage and hours worked with employees to retain staff as much as possible, he said.
Others were making operational changes so they could continue to trade, he said.
The chamber president called the new circumstances "earth-shattering" for everyone.
From Thursday tighter restrictions come into force focusing on reducing people gathering in groups, as governments battle to halt COVID-19's spread.
The banned list has expanded to include open house inspections and auctions, beauty therapy, tattoo parlours and other forms of personal services.
Pubs, clubs, and eateries closed for all but takeaway from Monday.
Mr Wright said everyone had a role to play, firstly in abiding by the restrictions "because we all want this to be over as quickly as possible".
Secondly, where possible, they could continue to spend money locally.
He said while stringent government measures were directly affecting hospitality and personal services, it would roll on to other sectors.
The whole employment network is going to be affected in some way.Dubbo Chamber of Commerce president Matt Wright
"The whole employment network is going to be affected in some way," he said.
There was "no dollar figure to measure the stress and anxiety and the impact on people's mental health", the chamber president said.
Often staff members were also friends, and a business owner having to say they couldn't pay them anymore was not a talk they wanted to have, Mr Wright said.
"We're hearing stories already of some businesses starting to close their doors, in the hope that making the decision early will enable them to be able to open the doors again in three to six months," Mr Wright said.
"But unfortunately I think we will see some closures and that's sad and what I would really encourage local people to do is try to continue to support those local businesses."
But unfortunately I think we will see some closures and that's sad and what I would really encourage local people to do is try to continue to support those local businesses.Dubbo Chamber of Commerce president Matt Wright
By Tuesday NSW had 1029 confirmed cases, including three in the Dubbo electorate. On Sunday the federal government announced another $66 billion for Australian small and medium businesses to help them keep paying staff amid the coronavirus outbreak.
When asked if the package would hit the mark, Mr Wright said it was early days and the cash stimulus would come to businesses after submitting their business activity statements (BAS) for the quarter.
"So obviously we've come through a pretty tough December quarter for a lot of businesses already, to have them even ready and preparing their BAS and getting it in on time," he said.
"There's probably a lot of businesses that it's far from their mind right now, but the incentive is that they'll start seeing a bit of reprieve and will receive some of those cash bonuses back in their account once they've completed their March BAS.
"So we'd encourage them to get organised and get that in nice and early."
He also urged business owners to speak to staff, lenders, landlords and accountants and have those "tough conversations" as soon as possible.