One of Hawke's Bay's most well-known bars has started a Givealittle page in a bid to survive.
Common Room, viewed by many as the cornerstone of the east block revitalisation project, has been hit hard by Covid-19 restrictions, which limit indoor venues to just 50 people at alert level 2.
Common Room event manager Sophie England, AKA DJ Soph, said it had been a "terrible time" for the hospitality sector, but especially so for event venues like theirs.
"For us, we are not just a bar. Being a venue, it's a lot tougher.
"We really rely on those Friday and Saturday gigs. Not being able to do that has taken its toll."
While more people were allowed outside with a maximum occupancy rate of 100 people, it was "tough to rely on with the weather".
Overheads still remained, and moving to a table service meant they had also brought in more staff, she said.
"It's a tricky situation. It's hurting everyone."
England said many businesses were just recovering from last year, and it was starting to look like they were "coming out the other side" before the most recent lockdown - thankfully, it was short, she said.
"We understand why those restrictions are in place.
"We've been sticking to the rules because we don't want to go into another lockdown."
A Givealittle page set up by staff on Wednesday managed to raise almost $9000 in less than 24 hours.
Several fundraiser events were also planned for the weekend, including a limited concert with Scarlett Eden on Friday night and an auction featuring local artists' works on Saturday night.
"The community that have put their hands up have been phenomenal," she said.
Owner Gerard Barron, who started Common Room eight years ago, expressed a "massive thanks" to everyone, saying the Givealittle response "has been crazy".
He said the money would help support suppliers, adding there had been roll-on effects from businesses struggling.
England encouraged people to "support local", saying staff at global franchises would be a lot better off compared with local businesses.
"If you're getting a burger, go to places like Common Room or Peak House.
"It's a couple bucks more, but it really goes far."
The Common Room had also created a space for local talent and acts to play or perform, and was the "key" to the east block revitalisation by Hastings District council.
"What that area has become [compared] to what it was when first opened, to see what it is now is phenomenal."
"[There are] all these other businesses that have popped up around it.
"It's pretty special."
Hastings City Business Association general manager Emma Sey said Barron and the team "epitomised" Hastings.
"We are quite sad to see that Common Room is going through this at the moment.
"Gerard and the team at the Common Room are Hastings.
"It has definitely affected all businesses, but especially hospitality and health and beauty."
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was a "very stressful" time for those in the hospitality sector especially.
"The Common Room is a really valued part of our night-life scene in Hastings and has been a key player in the revitalisation of the Heretaunga St East block.
"We are all hoping the situation changes soon and we can open up again, both for the existing businesses and those we want to have in the refurbished Municipal Building."
She pointed to a council's partnership with EIT to support hospitality businesses through a "Serve the Bay" employment and training evening, as a way to help with the shortage of hospitality workers.
"We encourage business owners to seek out any available Central Government assistance, and to come to us if they need help accessing this support.
"These are challenging times for everyone, particularly our local businesses, and that's why we continue to encourage people to shop and visit local, and help them out where we can."
• More information about the events can be found on the Common Room's Facebook page or by texting 027 3900700. The Givealittle page can be found at givealittle.co.nz/cause/best-little-bar-in-the-bay