Residents have been banding around their business community and it is now easier than ever to support local trade and ensure dollars spent in Cessnock stay in Cessnock.
Support Cessnock, run by Cessnock Chamber of Commerce, is a social media platform on which businesses can promote their trades and services to locals.
Cessnock Chamber of Commerce president Clint Ekert said the service was 100 per cent for Cessnock businesses and people could be confident that the products sourced from the platform would support local trade.
While restrictions put in place to prevent COVID-19's spread have been easing in NSW, a slowdown in trade has continued to bite for many Cessnock retailers.
Supporting local business has never been so important and businesses have been pulling out all stops to make sure they can continue to meet their customers' needs, Mr Ekert said.
"I am really proud of the lengths our local businesses have gone to during what is more than likely their hardest trading period they have ever seen," he said.
"We are seeing customer service at all costs take priority to ensure our local business owners not only survive, but thrive during the coronavirus pandemic."
The entire region has been affected by the recent slowdown and it was important to preserve the area's reputation as a unique shopping hub.
"We are so lucky in Cessnock to not only have one of the best shopping strips in the Hunter, but also our pockets of businesses all around our area," he said.
"From the service providers in West Cessnock right through to Pokolbin, Kurri Kurri and all around we have a unique shopping experience and it really is worth the drive to come and sample our hospitality."
As an extra incentive to support local business, Cessnock Chamber of Commerce has launched a new program in which residents have the chance to win $100 to spend at a local store.
The #100forLocal campaign launched this week. It's easy to enter - just tell the chamber which business in the Cessnock LGA you would like to spend $100 at, and why.
Submit your entries by commenting on the post on the chamber's Facebook page, or via the Support Cessnock group. Two winners will be selected each week.
There are many studies that when you spend $100 at a local business, on average 58 percent more of your money stays in your community.
"This year has been one of the toughest times to be a business owner, and the chamber felt we needed to come up with an innovative solution to inject vital dollars into our local community," Mr Ekert said.
"Now is the opportune time to throw your support behind local enterprise and ensure it will continue to operate into the future.
"People do like to support local businesses because they know local businesses create local employment and are the lifeblood of the community.
"Local buying supports local jobs and makes our community stronger by helping to keep money circulating in the region."
Meanwhile, the Support Local selfie campaign (a joint initiative of the chamber and Cessnock City Council) continues until September.
Take a selfie in your favourite business within the Cessnock local government area and then post it on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtags #supportlocalcessnock and the business name for the chance to win a $100 gift card.
Five winning photographs will be selected every month until September.