The emotional and economic fallout from the closure of Norske Skog's Ettamogah paper mill will likely be felt for a long time, business experts believe.
On Thursday workers at the mill were told Norske Skog would cease newsprint production in December.
The majority of staff will finish up on December 20, five days before Christmas, while a small number of workers will stay on to prepare assets ahead of Visy taking over the site in March.
About 180 jobs have been lost from the mill itself, but the closure will affect hundreds more who worked as contractors at the site or were involved in the transportation of fibres, chemicals and paper to and from the plant.
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union organiser Dave Corben estimated 800 people would be directly affected by the closure.
NSW Business Chamber regional manager Andrew Cottrill said the announcement would also dent business and consumer confidence in the region.
Mr Cottrill said Visy's purchase of the site was positive and would hopefully provide jobs for some of Norske Skog's redundant employees.
The people who are going through this went through a real tragedy 18 months ago with the loss of their three work companions and now they're facing a redundancy.Dave Corben
But the company's intentions probably would not be known for some time, leaving workers and the community in a period of uncertainty.
"Unless the workers can quickly find another role or another opportunity locally, we may lose those people to other regions or capital cities," he said.
"That would be worst possible outcome (for the region)."
Mr Corben said thousands of manufacturing jobs had been lost from the Border in the past decade as major companies including Drivetrain System International and Moore Paragon closed their Border factories.
At its peak, DSI alone employed about 1200 people, Mr Corben said, while about 300-400 were still employed when the Lavington plant closed.
In other businesses, production has continued but a series of small-scale redundancies have contributed to the erosion of manufacturing jobs, Mr Corben said.
"They are all jobs that are gone forever," he said.
"They all add up and it's making it difficult for people to find manufacturing jobs.
"Not everyone can work in a shop or be a service person.
"Manufacturing is a big employer in Australia and unfortunately it is getting smaller."
For staff, news of the mill's closure was somewhat expected, Mr Corben said, but came at the end of a horrible 18 months.
"The rumour mill has been going flat out there for probably the last 12 months, but it's been very full on over the last three or four months," he said.
"The people who are going through this went through a real tragedy 18 months ago with the loss of their three work companions and now they're facing a redundancy.
"That's hard on anybody, really hard."
Mr Corben said after Thursday's meeting most people were relieved they finally had facts not rumours.
Some long-term employees will be able to bring their retirement forward, Mr Corben said, and the redundancy won't hurt too much.
But the majority of workers rely on a steady salary to feed their family and pay their mortgage.
In the short-term workers would be busy working, looking at their finances, attending information sessions and searching for other employment.
Mr Corben said the impact of the closure might not be obvious for months - not until the busyness of working, sorting out redundancies and searching for employment, stops.
"I don't think it will really sink in until Christmas, it's a hard time to walk away," he said.
"Like many working people, their work is a big part of their life. And when it's gone, there are a lot of hours in the day.
"We're obviously quite concerned about workers' mental health. Hopefully people, if they're not feeling too good about things, will go get help because there is help available."
Unfortunately, Mr Corben has seen the cycle of redundancies too often recently.
"This is normally the pattern, obviously there's always people that fall outside the bell curve, but normally the initial thought is; 'Okay cool, I'll get a lump sum of money and I'll go get another job'," he said.
"And that's a good positive way to think, but when you think it's close to 200 jobs...
"That's a lot of jobs and to be dead honest, and I think everyone understands this, there isn't 100, 200 jobs waiting to be filled in this area."
Norske Skog will be offering counselling and support services to workers, as will AMWU.
Mr Corben said the union would also be speaking to businesses across the Border about taking on the mill's apprentices and workers.
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The decline of printed newspapers and the skyrocketing cost of power hurt Norske Skog immensely, Mr Cottrill said.
"The plant has struggled in recent years with viability... given the decline in the paper market and significant increase of the cost energy, particularly the cost of gas," he said.
Mr Corben agreed.
"We hear that from other manufacturing as well, the cost of electricity is really killing us," he said.
Australian Industry Group's Tim Farrah, of Albury, said the staff and management of Norske Skog had done an outstanding job keeping the plant viable.
"They deserve to be praised, they've done an amazing job in a time of huge uncertainty as print newspapers have been in decline," he said.
"If it was run or staffed by anyone else it might have closed five years ago."
Mr Cottrill said with fewer jobs and more uncertainty in the community, businesses, especially small operations, might feel the effects of diminished spending and consumer confidence.
"Smaller businesses and the retail market are certainly impacted by less money being spent in communities," he said.
The population of Albury-Wodonga is predicted to double by 2050, Mr Cottrill said. But without proper government supports and incentives that growth - especially in light of a declining manufacturing industry - won't be sustainable.
Mr Cottrill said the NSW government should look to implement something similar to Victoria's regional payroll tax program.
"It's not sustainable for us to see these continued burgeoning population in capital cities while regions are struggling," he said.
"We have regional cities with the capacity and potential to grow.
"We're asking government policy to support growth and support businesses investing in regional area and creating jobs in regional areas."