Tararua District Mayor Roly Ellis says there's renewed hope for retailers in the town of Woodville now that the Manawatu Gorge road is partially open again.
A temporary road has been constructed through a section of the gorge that was buried by a massive slip in August last year.
One-way traffic from Woodville to Ashhurst can use the gorge during the day. It is open to two-way traffic overnight.
Mr Ellis says business will not return to normal for retailers in Woodville until the gorge route is fully reopened, which could be four months away.