As Narrabri enters a week-long lockdown, businesses are encouraging the community to think local.

This will be particularly important once retail trade can operate following the stay-at-home orders.

In the meantime, businesses deemed as an essential service can continue to open during heightened COVID restrictions.

Speaking with The Courier on Saturday, hours before lockdown measures were introduced, a group of Maitland Street business operators thanked the community for its continued support.

But the message from these local businesses was clear, please continue to support local and keep the town going.

Watson’s Kitchen owner Merredith Jackson praised the community for its willingness to back local businesses as well as following COVID rules.

Mrs Jackson was joined by The Grayhound proprietor Shawn Wales, T-Table’s Dan Gillmore, MJ’s Newsagency’s Jodie Hill and Blooms on Maitland’s Konnie Wilson for The Courier’s call-out to continue supporting local businesses.

T-Table proprietor Dan Gillmore echoed similar sentiments to Watson’s Kitchen’s Merredith Jackson and praised people’s honesty.

“If they can’t check in they come up and ask for help,” he said.

The businesses all agreed they are open to looking at ways to service customers in these different COVID times.

“If people really needed to stay in but needed something, we would look at ways to cater for people,” The Grayhound proprietor Shawn Wales said.

“If they are really concerned, there are lots of ways we can work together.”

She and the other Maitland Street business operators urged people to contact businesses to discuss ways of supporting local, even if people do not want to leave home.

“It’s a little reminder that people are here to help each other get through,” the business operators said.

Prior to the state-wide lockdown introduced at the weekend, Maitland Street had been quieter than usual with visitor numbers to Narrabri restricted with border closures and nearby regional stay-at-home orders.

Some operators worry that if the COVID fallout continues, coupled with an increase in online shopping, some businesses might be forced to close.

“The last thing we want to see is businesses closing down in Narrabri,” Mrs Wales said.

“We all need to look after each other and look out for those who are unwell.”

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