Just as things began to return to some sense of normal in Daylesford, metropolitan Victoria's return to lockdown has hit businesses hard.
The tourist town enjoyed what may be its last day of full street and busy trading on Tuesday before Premier Daniel Andrews' decision to return Melbourne to stage three COVID-19 restrictions came into place.
While retail stores, cafes and restaurants were full for much of Tuesday morning and afternoon, a mainstay of the Daylesford business community is calling on locals to do their part in supporting each other.
Lachy John, whose family owns Paradise Bookshop on Vincent Street, said he and his family are preparing for a massive decline in revenue but remain optimistic because of the support they received from the community during the COVID-19 shut down earlier in the year.
"My family will feel the effect in terms of a massive drop in income," he said.
"Only about 30 per cent of our normal trade comes from locals so we're going to see a significant drop for sure. However all the support we've received from the community every time they would walk through the door makes it worth it.
"This place has been a staple of the community for a long time, so it's nice to receive that affirmation that they appreciate the fact we're still open."
While Mr John estimates his family's business will lose around 70 per cent of its customers over the next six weeks, one accommodation venue situated just outside of Daylesford believed they're set to lose an even greater percentage.
Owner and operator of Cozy Tents Glamping in Yandoit Jarek Dobrjanski estimates his business will lose upwards of 90 per cent of its customers until the travel ban is lifted.
"Our business is made up of around 90 per cent visitors from Melbourne, which is pretty crazy," he said.
"Even looking at our bookings for today, we were nearly booked out... we've gone from 10 bookings to two. It's pretty bad. We have one booking from Ballarat tomorrow, but nothing for the weekend."
Mr Dobrjanski is hoping some support may come from visitors from other areas of regional Victoria as he aims to keep his business running over the next six weeks.
"Getting some support from those other areas of regional Victoria will be really important over the next six weeks," he continued.
"Normally, those people only make up for less than five per cent of our operation, so to see people from regional Victoria come and support us Daylesford businesses in general would be really nice.
"It's good that we can stay open... but it's going to be a hard six weeks."
As people from metropolitan Victoria go back into stage three COVID-19 restrictions, the mayor of one of the region's tourist hot-spots is preparing for a difficult few weeks.
Hepburn Shire Council mayor Licia Kokocinski has been put in the unenviable position of balancing the safety of her community with the prosperity of the region's businesses.
Speaking in Daylesford on Tuesday afternoon, Cr Kokocinski did not mince words when describing how difficult the lockdown will make things within the region.
"The situation is very grim and we're really worried, not just about the next six weeks but certainly over the next couple of months," she said.
"I keep saying we're stuck between a rock and a hard place because for the towns is our shire, tourism is the backbone of the economy. If they shut down when some have only just reopened, it will be devastating.
"(The Hepburn Shire Council) is trying to do our best within the shire. Our economic development unit is doing their best to support our businesses. We're trying very hard to balance the needs of the community with the needs of our businesses. It's a difficult balancing act."
Looking at the amount of people still populating the main street of Daylesford on Tuesday afternoon, Cr Kokocinski said she was surprised so many tourists were still in town after Premier Daniel Andrews' press conference on Tuesday.
Moving forward, she added she hopes those visiting the region act responsibly and follow the Premier's directive.
"I am surprised to see this many people still in Daylesford," she continued.
"I presume these visitors will be heading home and hope people who have booked accommodation in Daylesford don't just think "we'll just leave when we're ready."
"People are supposed to stay in the Melbourne metropolitan area, whether they do or not is going to be interesting. For the safety of our community they should take heed and stay home."
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