Even with more stores open, however, sources say customers were scarce in most commercial areas.
Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa said more businesses had opened their doors than on the previous two Fridays, particularly in Pattani.
However, trading in some areas of Yala and Narathiwat remained quiet, with locals keeping a close watch on the security situation.
Business owners have been reluctant to open for the past fortnight following threats by insurgents to attack shops open on Fridays, which they claim is a compulsory day of rest for Muslims.
Gen Yutthasak said that even with business activity yesterday showing a marked improvement, security measures still need to be beefed up to boost public and business confidence.
About 5,000 police officers will be deployed to the far South in the coming months under a plan by new police chief Pol Gen Adul Sangsingkaew, the deputy prime minister said.
Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said 1,800 police officers will be deployed by May next year, with the rest to follow soon after.
Pattani governor Pramuk Lamun yesterday led a team through Thet Wiwat fresh market in Pattani municipality to encourage the vendors who had kept their stalls open for business.
"Blue flag" shops selling low-price products were also set up to encourage commercial activity in the area.
But despite more shops being open yesterday, there were still only a handful of buyers, observers said, adding that many vendors remain unsure if they will open again next Friday.
Mr Pramuk said authorities are focusing on restoring public confidence and ensuring proper security measures are in place to restore Friday trading.
In Yala municipality, more vendors in Phimolchai fresh market were open compared with the previous two Fridays, amid heightened security. Checkpoints were set up to screen people and vehicles, observers said.
Meanwhile, in Narathiwat's Sungai Kolok district, anti-insurgent leaflets were distributed in three spots about 1am yesterday. They carried messages criticising the terrorist group RKK (Rundi Kumpulun Kecil), saying the organisation's members had been deceived into joining the movement while the network's leaders lived in luxury.
It's still not clear who was behind the leaflets' distribution.
The message also urged Muslims to wake up and realise that the group that claimed to act in the name of religion was causing them harm.
In Narathiwat's Rueso district, a village defence volunteer was killed in an ambush early yesterday morning.
The victim was identified as Amdusama Sama, 55, a resident of Moo 2 in tambon Suwaree.
Witnesses told police that Amdusama was travelling in his pickup truck on the Suwaree-Jagua road at Ban Tanoke in tambon Suwaree when gunmen hiding in roadside forest fired on him with AK-47 assault rifles.