The seven-day lockdown is going to hurt Ballarat's business community, particularly without JobKeeper, but this time, more are prepared.
The new restrictions, which begin from 11.59pm Thursday, mean only essential retail can remain fully open - supermarkets and petrol stations, for example - while hospitality businesses and retailers can only be open for takeaway, delivery, or click-and-collect.
That's small comfort for accommodation providers, which are still recovering from the last snap lockdown in February.
Sovereign Park Motor Inn's Tim Canny said Thursday's announcement was a "kick in the guts".
"We'd been getting our feet back on the ground, and it's been taken away from us again," he said.
"We were full Friday and Saturday night, that was thousands of dollars of turnover coming our way, and now we're processing thousands of dollars of refunds.
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"It's drastic, the vision of all of our bookings being deleted and removed from our system - it's hard to take."
However, if the state can take control of the highly-infectious new COVID variant, Mr Canny said there is a bright spot ahead.
The Queen's Birthday long weekend in June will, in theory, see thousands of families in Ballarat for a massive basketball tournament, as well as South Street's famous calisthenics competition, and Frolic's Dark Rainbow extravaganza.
"It's always our busiest weekend of the year, it's phenomenal, we can sell the place five times over," he said.
"Losing that weekend is a lot more costly and will hurt a lot more than what this weekend does.
"There's also school holidays after that, and we know that for the last few years, with (Sovereign Hill's) Winter Wonderlights and (council's) Winterfest, it's a big set of holidays for accommodation providers."
Commerce Ballarat chief executive Jodie Gillett said mental health support is available to all businesses.
"I'd encourage anyone that needs support, if there are business people out there, it's tough and it is stressful, if they need help and support they can access the Partners In Wellbeing hotline any time, seven days a week, or come through our Lydiard Street Commerce Ballarat office where our mental health clinician will be in for one-on-one support next week," she said.
"Most of our businesses have learned a lot in the past 12 months, they will have plans in place for these scenarios - it doesn't lessen the impact, but they can swap to another mode of delivery quite quickly."
While the state government has promised some form of business support, Ms Gillett said the federal government had a role to play as well.
"They need to look at what they can offer to help our businesses stay afloat and keep people employed," she said.
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"The federal government needs to look at what they can do to support Victorian businesses - it's their fourth lockdown and it gets harder every time."
She agreed with Mr Canny about making sure the seven-day lockdown doesn't extend any further.
"We need to do everything we can to be back open so we can welcome back these visitors over the Queen's Birthday long weekend," she said.
- Need help? Phone Commerce Ballarat's Partners In Wellbeing hotline on 1300 375 330.
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