The loss of perhaps Avoca's biggest business weekend of the year has hit the community hard.
The eve of the Avoca Cup would usually bring with it a sense of major excitement, as well as scores of punters from far and wide.
That has not been the case in 2020, as with the vast majority of events around the globe, the community has not been allowed to attend the proceedings.
Avoca Hotel owner Ian Urquhart said the loss is devastating and has taken thousands of dollars away from his family's business.
"We miss out on two nights of fully booked accommodation of people attending the races," he said.
"On top of that, we would usually host an afterparty of sorts for the races which everyone went to. That's worth more than $10,000 for us so to have that taken away is a fairly big blow."
A similar message was put forward by Candice Dennis, the owner of the Avoca Motel, which like the hotel, is usually packed to the rafters for the races.
Ms Dennis said the loss of income and loss of the event takes so much away from not only her business, but the entire town itself.
"In Avoca, a lot of people say we have two really good days of the year, the Avoca Cup in October and the Autumn Races in March," she said.
"Those events bring huge amounts of people to the area. We're normally fully booked for three days and now we've got no one. There's no other words, it's devastating, it's crushing. We understand why this can't happen, but we really wish that it could have.
"Economically, it has a massive impact... Usually, just these few days would bring in enough money to pay for all of October for us.
"Everyone used to come to the pub after the races, it made the town feel like a bit of a city. People would come and enjoy themselves and really bring life to the town, it's sad that it won't happen this year."
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Ms Dennis said there is a sense that Avoca, and other small towns like it have been forgotten by the Victorian Government during the pandemic, adding the community has no idea when things may return to some sense of 'normal'.
"We're left waiting for news from politicians about what sort of support is coming our way," she continued.
"I'm reliant on out-of-town visitors... at the moment we haven't received anything that makes us think events will come back. Who knows when those sort of events will come back.
"We need help out here, there are businesses that are really struggling, myself included. It can feel like we're being forgotten because we're not a big city."
These sentiments were echoed by Mr Urquhart.
"I haven't got a crystal ball, however we've been waiting every week for the state government to bring some relief to the region. From our point of view, we've been COVID-free for a long time... we understand the approach but it also feels like we're being dragged along with our friends in Melbourne," he said.
"We're a little concerned that things could have been opened up a lot earlier."