Kurri Kurri has seen it all when it comes to economic and social challenges.
From closures of mines, textile industries and the aluminium smelter to natural disasters including the current pandemic, Kurri Kurri has continued to adapt, showing its resilience and community spirit.
Today, Kurri Kurri has an established tourism and hospitality sector, is renowned as a Mural Town, is home to the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival, Mulletfest and the Richmond Vale steam railway.
Unfortunately, when COVID-19 struck, many of these businesses were impacted and forced to temporarily close down.
But Kurri Kurri's essential service providers have stepped up to lend support.
Kurri Kurri Community Services, which provides supports and services to thousands of community members, including many vulnerable people, is typical of the spirit of local commitment.
"We activated our pandemic plan early on, which allowed us to maintain most of our services for the duration," CEO Mike Coddington explained,
"Our pandemic plan includes many changes to our business that are focused on reducing the likelihood of infection and containing any infection that does occur."
Other essential service providers, like Kurri Kurri's Priceline Pharmacy, Your Discount Chemist and Happy Tooth also had to adapt business practices to cope with restrictions.
Temporarily reduced services, installation of screens, implementation of social distancing measures and offering free hand sanitiser were part of the procedures that enabled these businesses to continue to operate and support the local community.
A strong industrial base meant that many local jobs have remained secure.
The Hunter Industrial Ecology Park, anchored by Weston Aluminium and Central Waste, continues to expand, providing jobs and innovative solutions to waste management.
The Hunter Region Business Hub has been busy providing advice and assistance to many of the small start-up and existing businesses that have been seriously impacted by the pandemic.
"The Hub's Digital Business Solutions Program has been greatly utilised," manager Kerry Hallett said.
"Business advice is being provided via zoom workshops and online programs, and many of the fees, already heavily subsidised, have been further reduced."
Safe Act at Weston is another local business that has been proactive in providing business advice regarding safety and changed practices.
As businesses begin to re-open and expand their services again, the local community is being encouraged to support local businesses and service providers.