Maitland Business Chamber President Judy Brown has welcomed Premier Gladys Berejiklian's announcement that the 10-people limited will be lifted to 50 people for pubs and restaurants from June 1.
But this would only apply if there was sufficient space for the four square metre social distancing requirement.
"I've said earlier the 10-people limit wasn't enough to make businesses open up, but this is fantastic news," she said. "It will allow Maitland's businesses to make their own educated decision about whether to open up.
"If we want people to come to the region we need places to be open, to offer them something.
"Now our businesses at least have a chance to make some money which is all they've wated."
Ms Brown nonetheless warned traders and the public not to expect an instant snapback to normal conditions, despite the ongoing easing of lockdown restrictions.
She prefers a gradual easing of restrictions.
"The last thing we need is to go through a second wave of COVID-19," she said. "That would really set us back a long way."
She also feels there has been either a lack of clear information, and in some cases sheer disinformation, for people to digest. It has caused frustration with both traders who don't want to be fined amid all the uncertainty, and the public.
"It will be pretty demoralising if you want to go back to your favourite restaurant after being in isolation all this time only to find it's not open, but the restaurant up the road is," she said.
"We need clearer, concise rules that everyone can grasp."
She has no doubt Maitland will bounce back even thought it may take "18 months or two years", and that some changes may persist.
"We've gone through tough times before ... the depression, wars ... and business has always come back strongly, and it will again.
"I think some Maitland businesses have shown amazing flexibility and creativity during this pandemic, and some of those changes will stick. Some businesses will decide the new business model they've adopted is worth sticking with.
"So I am certain Maitland will bounce back largely as it was, although no doubt some businesses will decide to take this opportunity to finish up. Others will be slightly different to what they were - maybe sticking to takeaway and home delivery rather than dine-in or whatever - and there will be new businesses starting up."
With recent days' case numbers low, Ms Berejiklian said the state's attention must now turn to its economic recovery after 220,000 jobs were lost in April. She said she would not consider bringing in a higher cap for regional pubs and restaurants, where case numbers are lower, as she had a "strong preference" to keep rules the same between city and regional areas.