What will it take to help businesses through this pandemic?
That's the question Gunnedah Shire Council is asking in a survey of local operators.
Businesses are being urged to have their say on the economic recovery of the region from the COVID-19 pandemic and how council resources can be best allocated.
The survey comes after the council implemented a $1.6 million support measure for local businesses, which included freezing interest on rates, a reduction in business fees and extending existing grant programs.
Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey said the measures were the first phase of the council's Business Support Package, and the survey was the start of the second phase.
"It's vital we are able to help our local businesses to get through this pandemic as strongly as possible," Cr Chaffey said.
"Currently, our shire is below the national, state and regional average for unemployment and we are determined to ensure we stay there.
"If unemployment does rise it can cause a variety of different issues, so it is vital we work hand-in-hand with businesses to help maintain our excellent unemployment rate in tact."
The council's manager of economic development Charlotte Hoddle said from Wednesday, businesses can access the survey via the council's website.
"While the federal and state governments have introduced packages and subsidies to help, we are hoping to identify gaps where council may have capacity to provide assistance," Ms Hoddle said.
"Once this feedback is received, we will use it to tailor a recovery package to the needs of the Gunnedah community, helping to plan and refine ongoing response efforts."
Cr Chaffey said the council was working side-by-side with the Gunnedah and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry throughout the pandemic.
"As a council we are frequently in direct contact with the business chamber," he said.
"In my opinion, that has been bolstered during the pandemic and will continue to happen in the future."