To business owners on the South Coast the Kings Highway is more than just a road, it's a conduit which feeds the local economy.
As the president of the Batemans Bay business and tourism chamber, Alison Miers, prepared to return to the coast, she called on Canberrans to take to the highway and help local businesses in their time of need.
"Is it [the highway] really open? I've been in a meeting," she immediately asked.
"If so, that's great news to hear and a little earlier than expected.
"Canberra is going to be critical to getting our region going again financially. It's been a very tough operating period for many businesses and their families."
Ms Miers represented Eurobodalla businesses in a meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday afternoon at Parliament House and addressed the Cabinet room for about five minutes about the challenges ahead.
"I told them that the financial need is not in two weeks' time or two months, but right now," she said.
"The issue, I think, is that while government support is well-intentioned, it gets mired in bureaucracy and the wheels turn so very slowly.
"That's of no benefit at all to the people who need the money now. Cash flow is king."
She said the meeting had a broad range of representation from banks to business representatives and service providers.
"There were a lot of good ideas put forward and he [Scott Morrison] appeared to be quite genuine and open in his discussions," she said.
"But we will see what action happens from here."
She said her boutique hotel business at Batemans Bay had taken in evacuees immediately after the fires and more recently her guests have included TV media, staff for local nursing homes, and NBN contractors.
"I suspect there will be good demand for accommodation as the rebuilding begins," she said.
The publican at the Steampacket Hotel in Nelligen, Joel Alvey, said that customers had been coming "in dribs and drabs" since the highway reopened but he's hoping to see more in the weeks ahead.
"We are waiting on our fresh produce to arrive so we can get our bistro re-opened, hopefully on Friday lunchtime," he said.
"For us, the impact on our patronage and dramatic has been longer than most businesses; for us, it started in late November.
"We've struggled on but had to close on January 2."
Without power, there were no chillers, pumps or tills.
He said that the hotel suffered significant food spoilage when the power cut out and it took three days before he could borrow a generator.
At its height, spotting from the Clyde Mountain fire came within 30-40 metres of the back of the pub but once the immediate threat was over, the lost power and the difficult customer access to Nelligen created longer term issues.