Businesses react to GFG legal challenge | PHOTOS

The news that British Billionaire Sanjeev Gupta will face a legal challenge which threatens to wind up the Whyalla Steelworks has been met head on with guarded optimism from the town's business owners.

Espresso Cafe owner Liz Attard, who has been running her business for 29 years in Patterson Street, said the news was a shock, having thought that Whyalla was "out of the woods".

But she said the community wasn't panicking, with operations at the steelworks currently in the black and GFG's Australian businesses in general being profitable.

"We know that at the moment it's not that bad, it's just a bit of media hype," Ms Attard said.

"The positive I've heard is that it is a lot better position financially than when it went into administration so if something does happen and it needs to be sold off then there might be someone out there who would take it over."

Ms Attard said she hoped the predictions of doom and gloom were false and that the town would be able to overcome this latest development.

"We're all trying to stay positive ... I'm not trying to read into it too much, we're just taking it day by day," she said.

Whisk Away owners Elpida and Gerry Vlachoulis have ridden the highs and lows of the steel city and the steelworks over the years, including the Arrium administration in 2016.

Elpida said people were under threat of losing their jobs should the steelworks collapse, but was hopeful that a solution could be reached before things got to that point.

"It is frustrating because you don't know where you stand in the town, I think our town is too big to let the steelworks go - Australia relies on our steel," she said.

Gerry said the uncertainty around the future of the steelworks could cause people to leave Whyalla to obtain peace of mind.

"Retirees might want to leave," he said.

One Stop Carpets owner Andrea Carter said there was a lot of money invested in town in projects such as the new Whyalla Secondary College - too much to let the steel city collapse.

"I feel quite confident ... I'm not an accountant but there's too much invested in our town for the steelworks to close up," she said.

Top of Town Lingerie owner Anne Grundel said she often had the steelworks in the back of her mind.

"It took us a long time to get out of the woods ... the town doesn't need to experience that again," she said.