A Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce member says the town cannot afford to lose the 50 people expected to be made redundant by the Canterbury Spinners factory.
The company, which is owned by Godfrey Hurst, announced on Friday that it is likely to make them redundant by September.
Chamber member Suresh Patel says the town of 5000 people is hit hard by every person who leaves. While opportunities have been increasing in the rural sector, he says, more jobs must be created so that those made redundant can stay.
Mr Patel says it's up to the business sector and the community to come up with a solution.