Businesses hope 2022 is free of lockdowns and the economy bounces back as they look to the year ahead.
Taranar Sloan-Harris from The Organic Factory hopes 2022 will lead to no COVID restrictions but he expects a cycle of closures and openings.
Mr Sloan-Harris and Cody Rogers from The Organic Factory are considering expanding their market presence and pursuing other avenues in health, wellness and conscious living.
It looks likely the business duo will have to give up their cafe dream entirely after closing the Telegraph Point cafe due to the pandemic.
They have launched a stall selling organic and vegan meals at the weekly Real Food Markets.
"We pump out sometimes 150 serves of food which is more than we would at the cafe," Mr Sloan-Harris said.
"We get to connect with our customers more."
He said the pandemic had led to a "weird sort of learning" in business.
"We struggle to have the foundation to build because we are up and down," Mr Sloan-Harris said.
Port Heritage Jewellers and Watchmakers proprietor Stephen Burt said he would like to see an end of all lockdowns.
"I would like to see a return to normal business, be comfortable with the fact everybody is doing the right thing and our turnover returns to normal," he said.
"The last two years have been trying for businesses in Port Macquarie."
The cumulative effect of lockdowns over the past two years cost Port Heritage Jewellers and Watchmakers more than $100,000.
Mr Burt said we had to learn to live with COVID-19, just like we did with the flu.
Chris Gardiner and husband Sean opened Clarence Street store Angus & Dudley Collections in late 2021 after running the business online for six years.
They signed the lease before the lockdown lifted.
"It was a huge risk but we had faith and knew we had something different to offer [as a business]," Mrs Gardiner said.
She has been encouraged by the local support for the new store selling baby and children's decor and accessories, and newborn essentials.
"So far, the local support has been amazing," Mrs Gardiner said.
"I just hope everyone supports local, not only in Port Macquarie but Australia-wide."
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry director of economics, employment and skills Jenny Lambert said the organisation welcomed the Prime Minister's commitment to lockdowns being avoided.
"This is tremendously assuring for the business community and the Australians they employ," she said.
"As businesses are only just beginning the long process of recovery from the recent wave of lockdowns, they cannot afford to return to these crushing restrictions.
"Lockdowns destroy jobs, investment and confidence - they must be avoided unless absolutely necessary and these assurances are a great boost to much-needed confidence.
"In responding to the pandemic, the focus has rightly shifted to how the health system is managing those most severely impacted by the virus rather than fixating on the daily case numbers."
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