Havelock North cafe and restaurant owners descended on Pipi Cafe this morning to fire questions at Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule following the village's gastro outbreak.
Mr Yule said a major advertising campaign will be launched to re-attract customers back to Havelock North - once the water has been cleared.
"It's a brand issue because think they can't come and stay here," he said during the meeting.
The owners said it had been cathartic knowing they were not the only suffering businesses.
Chalk 'n' Cheese Cafe owner Joanie Williams said it had been "extremely challenging" not having clean water.
She also owns Origin Earth, a dairy farm, and says many of the Havelock North cafes were her customers.
"We have people away sick, they are wanting sick pay or holiday pay, we have half the income," she said.
While questions were fired and the mayor was grilled about the situation Ms Williams said: "We need to be looking at solutions rather than blame."
Mr Yule said the contamination could have come from one of three things, either the council has been negligent, "it could be some form of an act from God," or someone may have done something to change the water.
The mayor said the boil water notice that was posted on windows around Havelock North was impacting business.
He walked around the village yesterday, the first chance he said he'd had, and saw for himself the effect it was having.
More concerning is the likelihood of a secondary infection evolving from the campylobacter disease.
He said until definite results came back on Friday it would not be known whether this in fact would happen. Not only are Havelock North residents unable to drink their water, but when they do it will likely taste and smell different.
"For the foreseeable future you will have chlorine in your water," Mr Yule said.
He said the bores on Brookvale Rd which had been contaminated had previously been secure for 35 years.
One bore was now testing clear, but the other had not yet been.
The mayor said allegations about raw sewerage causing the contamination was incorrect and sewerage could only cause campylobacter if the majority of the population had the disease and were excreting it.
It is most likely to have come from an animal. Results due on Friday will indicate which animal.