Lake Cathie businesses are urging the community to support them after taking a blow through the impact of the bushfires and deterioration of the lake's condition.
Zach Minturn and Misty Kelly are managers at the Feel Good Food cafe, located directly opposite the lake.
The couple have been working at the business for the past seven months and have seen the lake deteriorate over that time.
Misty has been fielding phone calls from a number of people, who ask her if the lake is open.
The couple say the business depends on people coming to the lake.
They've been told by other business owners just how good business can be, when the lake is open to the ocean.
"We've never experienced it when it's been in its prime," Zach said.
Unfortunately they've had to drop staff members at the business. During busy periods there would normally be four or five staff rostered on.
However on Tuesday, January 14 Misty and Zach were the only staff present.
As an avid fisho, Zach remembers the good times of when he used to go prawning and fishing at Perch Hole and from the bridge.
Wendy Dunn, owner of Lakeside Fashions, said businesses have copped the brunt of a lack of visitors to the region, due to the bushfires and the gradual deterioration of the lake.
She said she's telling her customers the lake will be fixed soon and to come back next year when it's beautiful again. Wendy hopes she's not telling any lies.
Wendy said it's important people remain optimistic the lake will be repaired sooner rather than later.
She said businesses should band together because "ultimately we're all in the same boat".
Wendy thanked her loyal customers for continuing to support her business.
How's the market doing?
Keith Cramp from Lake Cathie Bonny Hills Real Estate said the office has received a number of calls from people enquiring about if and when the lake will be opened.
Mr Cramp said the lake remains 'top of mind' for people who are looking to rent or buy in the area.
Speaking anecdotally, Mr Cramp said he believes there will be a distinct economic impact on the area.
He said this is the second year where businesses in Lake Cathie have experienced a quiet holiday period.
Read more: Lake Cathie visitors in January 2018
Meanwhile Craig Dixon from Elders Real Estate said the real estate market is still strong, both in rentals and sales.
However he believes this is a result of low interest rates and general market conditions.
"It would be doing even better if we had a healthy, flowing lake system again," he said.
"I believe that the majority of people enquiring feel that living 11 minutes south of Port Macquarie on the beach is a great lifestyle option, but a pristine lake and estuary system would attract people for its beauty and vibrancy alone.
"One Christmas it was open, clean and tidal. There were hundreds of people in and around it everyday. I don't see that now."
Mr Dixon said he feels sorry for the other small businesses which rely on visitors to the area.
"With the drought, the fires and the condition of the lake they must have had a tough Christmas," he said.
What else is making news?
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.