THE fire emergency affected a number of local businesses, especially in the seaside villages which often rely on this busy tourist period for survival.
Combined, Sussex Inlet, Cudmirrah and Berrara have a regular population of 4500 residents but that easily doubles in the busy holiday periods.
Some businesses in the townships are reporting business as usual, with others preparing to sustain significant losses after visitors left due to the bushfire danger.
Col Cropper from the Sussex Tackle Shop and Toybox said business had been affected greatly.
“Hundreds of people packed up and left town,” he said.
“All their boats were loaded up and they just left.
“We were looking at having a really good year and now I would say trade is down by at least 20 per cent.
“And I would say a lot of the local businesses would be the same as me.
“And I doubt now that they will come back.”
President of the Sussex Inlet and District Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Phil Queripel, said the township of Sussex Inlet in particular had quietened down with a number of tourists “getting out when they could”.
“It is definitely quieter in town, the shop owners would definitely be noticing it,” he said.
Mr Queripel, who owns and operates the Inlet Anchorage caravan park, said he hadn’t had any cancellations.
“Speaking from my own business we have had a few people go home who were expected to, and we have a change over this weekend in our cabins and haven’t had any cancellations,” he said.
“We have a lot of onsite vans that are owned by people who come and go as they please and things haven’t really quietened down.”
It is a different story at Sussex Palms Holiday Park where owner Katrina Freeman said they had a number of cancellations for the weekend.
“Our park was advised to evacuate on Tuesday and it was full but not too many people left,” she said.
“But we have since had a number of cancellations for the weekend and I don’t know how it will go for next week.
“We had a couple of people who were due to leave Saturday head off on Thursday.”
Colleen Holmes, who runs the Sussex Inlet Ice Creamery, said the loss of tourists who had left the township was affecting business.
“A lot of people have gone home who would normally be staying,” she said.
“They didn’t hang around when they were told to leave and I can understand that.
“The caravan parks were evacuated as well as the Inasmuch Retirement Village in the height of the danger on Tuesday, but it looked a lot closer than it actually was.
“I would say hundreds of people have left town. Unfortunately, that will affect us but ultimately it is more important to save lives and not put anyone at risk.”