The leaders of a Dubbo business that received an award for its response to the challenges of 2020 say they're excited about the future of the region, while a fellow award recipient says "there's always a window of opportunity".
Australia is in its first recession since the early 1990s as a result of the lockdowns to stop COVID-19's spread.
Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg warned in September the road out of recession would be "hard and bumpy" after the economy contracted by a record 7 per cent in the June quarter.
SJ Shooter Real Estate was named the winner in the small business category of the Business Who Met the Challenges of 2020 with Diversification and Innovation at the Salute to Dubbo Business, hosted by Dubbo Chamber of Commerce.
Asked about confidence for the future, licensee and director Samuel Shooter said it would be "an interesting time" once government incentives and stimulus dried up, but he believed Dubbo and other regional areas were "going to continue on fairly much with life as normal".
He said his feeling was in his industry they were going to see "the continued performance of Dubbo, which is generally steady growth in a positive direction".
Managing director Laura Shooter said the recognition of the award meant Dubbo was "truly a great place to do business".
"...it is a strategic place to do business, and it shows that there is great confidence here, because for a real estate business to do well, people have to be wanting to move here and stay here," she said.
...we truly believe in the future of our region...SJ Shooter managing director Laura Shooter
"And I think it's incredibly exciting and we truly believe in the future of our region and we've had this once in a generation infrastructure boom, and now a once-in-a-century pandemic and we're continuing to go from strength to strength in that, and I think the future is good."
Dubbo's Summit Cranes won the same award in the large business category.
Director Joshua Shields told the Daily Liberal of moves to start a branch in Port Moresby, and of looking at other projects in Cambodia, Malaysia and Solomon Islands.
The company has a casual labour pool of about 400 people, which it plans to grow to about 1000 people in the next six months, he said.
When asked about the recession, Mr Shields said: "It depends how you look at it..."
"There's always a window of opportunity, depending where you look," he said.
He encouraged other businesses to "never give up, keep trying and stay humble".