Nowra’s small businesses have been faced with new challenges created by fast-food restaurants, as the town prepares for further traffic congestion before the construction of the western bypass.

Nowra has seen traffic congestion rise with ongoing roadworks and the new Nowra bridge , that was completed in February.

To ease the traffic issues, some residents claim the bypass will be great for the region.

However, sf The Tea Club Café owner, Loreena Doumbos is concerned about how her business will be affected by all the fast-food restaurants being built along the highway for passing traffic.

“I think it will take a bit away from us because people won’t come into town so much,” Ms Doumbos said.

“They’ll just see everything there on the highway so rather than come off the highway, just that little turn off into the shopping centre into the CPD, I think they’ll tend to go for fast-food on the highway unfortunately,

“I don’t think it will affect us in a massive way because a lot of ours [customers] are the locals but yeah, we’ll probably have to do a bit more advertising for people to know that we are here.”

The planning stages and funding for the western bypass of Nowra was announced by state and local governments back in January 2023 with the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Catherine King commenting on 7News about the added funding from the Albanese Labor Government.

“The Albanese government will commit an extra $65m to the Nowra bypass, bringing the total amount in contribution with Australian government to $105m,” Ms King said in January.

For fast-food employees, the plans for a bypass bring doubts to job security, especially if the town is bypassed.

Domino’s employee Jackson Rose has expressed his concerns on how the bypass may affect the town.

“Most of Dominoe’s customers are locals but we get a couple of out-of-town folks but mainly just locals, Mr Rose said.

“However, there may be more competition once more fast-food places are introduced into the town,

“But the bypass will definitely decrease the traffic.”

With no start date announced on the western bypass construction, increased traffic congestion and fast-food impacts affecting the small businesses will remain the norm for the time being.

Image: Transport NSW