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Not just farmers feeling the pinch during drought

Not just farmers feeling the pinch during drought

The worsening drought continues to grab national attention and every day we are confronted with vision of bare paddocks and weary farmers hand feeding livestock.

But it is not just those on the land that feel the pinch, during dry times. In country towns, the flow on effects from drought can be felt in the high street shops, supermarkets and corner stores.

And even regional cities like Orange aren’t immune to the impact of drought.

Orange Business Chamber President Ash Brown said they have been hearing from local businesses affected by a downturn in trade due to drought.

“Obviously farming oriented ones, it's starting to really bite now...those sorts of places are really starting to hurt a bit and it is going to spread through the community, because the guy who owns the stock feed place would shop with someone else and the cycle just keeps happening,” said Mr Brown.

The effects of drought are felt sooner in the smaller towns and villages, which are more reliant on their agricultural base, he said, but there is a ripple effect that is now being felt in Orange.

“Certainly in the smaller villages outside it would be a lot greater effect than we are feeling here, because they have a higher percentage of farming-oriented economies,” said Mr Brown.

“But they all do shop in Orange and a lot of them come in for all of their services in Orange, so there is going to be a ripple effect from there into Orange.

“Businesses are hurting, so we can only just hope and pray that it rains and rains a lot soon.”

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