The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the global economy to its core, changing the way we interact with businesses of any size.
Despite only a handful of positive cases of coronavirus in the region to date, Ararat's economy is not exempt from the once in a lifetime phenomenon.
Food, alcohol and most importantly, masks, are in high demand with many people struggling to get an ample supply.
Amy Carruthers, who owns Ararat health food store One Bite at a Time said demand has not been higher.
"Business has more than double since the pandemic began," she said.
"With every announcement of restrictions, business booms.
"This past week was the biggest we've had. Ever.
"We opened every day of the week, and my mother and I were making masks during the night."
The anticipation of longer lockdown measures, and panic buying, has seen many residents bulk buy goods of all kinds.
"The bulk bins are very popular right now; people are buying flour, chocolate, nuts and seeds.
"Basically anything they can buy in large amounts.
"The locally made items are popular too, including Green Eggs, Blue Wren Bakery and Noel Sleeman Honey.
"I don't see this ending any time soon."
Just next door, Ararat butcher Tom Claridge, who owns and operates Claridge's Meats, said the past week is about par for his business.
"It hasn't been too bad this week," he said.
"I've seen a bit of an increase, but nothing over the top. No panic buying yet.
"So far customers have been good. Nowhere near as bad as the first wave."
On August 3, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews ordered abattoirs across the state to reduce their onsite workforce by a third.
Abattoirs have been a hotspot for COVID-19 outbreaks, due to the inability to socially distance while working.
The reduction, and the high demand for bulk goods, make some lines of stock are harder to stock than others.
"We've got a small shortage as I get my meat from a supplier in Melbourne," he said.
"Fish and chicken are hard to get, but pork has a steady supply.
"Naturally, pork prices are starting to go up.
"I don't want to go too heavy with ordering stock; I don't want to end up with a heap of meat that I can't sell.
"Butchers might be essential business this week, but that could change."
As the sole employee of the business, Mr Claridge cannot afford to get sick, let alone contract COVID-19.
"I have to be careful, because I own and manage this business by myself," he said.
"I can't afford even to get tested for COVID-19, because I'd have to shut down the business until the results come through.
"My partner and kids are at home, which means there is less of a chance of encountering anyone who has the virus."
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