The Border-Riverina economy was optimistic headed into 2020, but a month and a half into the year the situation couldn't be more different.
Bushfires ravaged much of the region through January and smoke kept visitors away, and the emergence of the coronavirus has put the squeeze on border businesses who export to and import from China.
The Riverina-Murray regional manager of the NSW Business Chamber Andrew Cottrill said it's been a tough start of the year for businesses.
"We've just received our business confidence surveys and things were looking quite strong in the Riverina Murray, but the surveys were taken in December," Mr Cottrill said.
"So we'd expect there will be a downturn in business confidence but I believe it will bounce back again."
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, officially known as Covid-19, dozens of Chinese cities have been put in lock-down to ensure the containment of the virus.
Economically it's expected the outbreak, travel ban to Australia and restrictions of movement within Chinese cities will affect cities and businesses across the globe.
Mr Cottrill said after an already tough start to the year, the travel ban would hit the Riverina and Murray regions hard.
"The biggest immediate impact has been tourism," he said.
"China makes up about 20 per cent of Australia's tourism revenue, and that's true also for the Riverina so there's a 20 per cent impact to Riverina tourism for the duration of that travel ban.
"That's a very significant impact... it will be hurting our tourism business providers."
Australia Industry Group's Tim Farrah, of Albury, said he's not aware of the coronavirus having any direct impact on Border businesses yet, but said if the travel ban and the lock-down of cities continues the effects would filter down.
He said previous disruptions to the global economy had been both good and bad for businesses.
"A lot of local companies are competing against products from China," he said.
"As those [Chinese] products that are already here dry up and get sold off... it means Australia made products could have much more of a chance because people simply won't be able to buy the alternatives that come out of China."
Mr Farrah said Australia-made products have experienced similar surges in the past when international-imports were suddenly unavailable.
"We saw it many years ago in the 2000s there was a coup in Fiji and at the time a lot of men's suits were made in Fiji," he said.
"The ports all closed and after six or seven weeks local manufacturers of suits had the market because everyone had sold out of their stock of [Fijian] suits."
Watch and see
Mr Farrah said it's hard to know how the coronavirus might affected the Border, but many businesses in the region rely on exports to, or imports from, China.
He said if Border businesses had completed tenders or priced a job based on the assumption they would be getting parts imported from China, their profit margin could take a hit if those parts weren't available.
It means Australia made products could have much more of a chance because people simply won't be able to buy the alternatives that come out of China.Tim Farrah
"These things can take a little while to flow through so it hasn't had an impact yet but if it goes on for another month we'll certainly start to feel it in different areas for sure," he said.
In a statement Mars Petcare, like many border manufacturers with export links to China, said it was monitoring the fallout from the coronavirus and restrictions.
"As the situation evolves, we're assessing its impact on our supply chain," it said.
"We hope to avoid any disruption in the delivery of our products and services. Right now, we're not seeing any disruption of raw materials or finished goods coming into or going out of China."
Mr Cottrill said importing to and exporting from China was delayed, but things appeared to be slowly getting back to normal.
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"In terms of trade exports are continuing, albeit understandably with marked slowdown in border processing times," he said.
"China is slowly coming back up to full steam though it might take while to come back completely.
"There will have been some delays in imports and goods coming from china but you'd expect that to rebound fairly soon.
"The experience from the previous SARS outbreak gives us confidence there'll be a strong rebound of Australian exports to China once the situation normalises and this containment period is over."
While it's estimated that more than 100,000 Chinese students have been unable to reach their universities in Australia due to the travel ban, the impact on the Border appears negligible.
Latrobe University confirmed no students at its Albury-Wodonga campus were caught up in the travel ban.
Charles Sturt University were unable to provide details of how many Thurgoona students would be affected by the travel restrictions.
In a statement the university said it was ensuring any students affected would have access to online materials. Thee university said appropriate plans were in place should an outbreak occur on campus.