Shop owners at The Plaza in Alstonville stand to lose a lot of money if plans by Coles to expand go ahead.
The expansion would force shop owners to find other premises or close their businesses.
Alstonville Heath Food, Mitre 10 and Fisherman's Wife have all heard their leases are not going to be renewed, and it is believed the list may include Ace Variety Discounts and possibly others. Some of the owners will be left with nothing but a business loan, others will have to reconsider retirement, but mostly they are upset that there was no direct communication or notification from the owners or estate agent.
Nardia Coote from Alstonville Heath Food was the first to hear the news, after she had finalised the sale of her business and went to the LJ Hooker Real Estate in Alstonville to get papers. They then informed her the lease could not be renewed because Coles was expanding.
"I had the same buyers interested for a year, they finally were going to buy and this happened," Nardia said. "I have a business loan to pay and no shop option for this to move to, so the sale is off."
Nardia let the surrounding businesses know after being told the news, because she wanted them to be aware of what was on the cards.
"This is horrible. The little shops make this community what it is," Nardia said.
Owner of Mitre 10 for the past eight years, John Nielson, said his lease runs until the end of February and then he will be offered 30-day leases.
"A business of our size can't operate like that. We will have to find another location or close down," he said
"If we walk out of the business, we stand to lose around half a million dollars."
Mr Nielson said he had tried to get in contact with the estate agent LJ Hooker, but the agent Richard Campbell is on leave and his father Dick Campbell is one of the owners of The Plaza.
"I can't get them to communicate with us," he said. He has now engaged a solicitor to clarify the situation.
Lisa Allen started the fish and chip shop Fisherman's Wife four years ago and was also planning to sell her business eventually. She said now she'll just be left with a business loan after her lease ends in August next year.
"I will be left with no job. There's not really anywhere to move and if I did it would cost around $10, 000," Lisa said. "Everyone I have spoken to is not excited about a big Coles, they like the smaller shops. I don't think anyone will listen to the community outcry now, but it's worth a try."
The Echo contacted LJ Hooker but nobody was available to comment.
A spokesperson for Coles said there were "no formal plans to expand at this stage".