COUNCIL chiefs need to know where to spend money to support businesses as it makes savage cuts to its budget.

Dorset County Council’s first priority over the next three years is to spread the word that Dorset is ‘open for business’ to encourage economic growth, create jobs and increase prosperity.

Now it is asking businesses for their input on how the council should prioritise the money available to spend on services affecting local businesses, jobs and the economy.

Representatives from a wide range of business sectors will be attending a consultation event with councillors and managers this month to find out their views on the council’s budget and council tax proposals.

They’ll also hear an update on the county’s superfast broadband project and will be asked to help identify priorities from the business community.

DCC’s net budget is being cut by more than £13 million down to £269.1million.

The council is facing a period where it will have to slash a further £50million over the next three years, even with a council tax increase of two per cent a year.

Council leader Spencer Flower, who will chair the consultation event, said: “It’s absolutely vital that we do everything we can to support businesses to thrive and prosper, as well as trying to encourage new businesses to come to Dorset. Job opportunities, skills and training and economic prosperity are all essential in helping communities to thrive and ensure that local people have a good quality of life.

“I’m really looking forward to talking with business rep-resentatives, hearing about what they think is important and working with them to meet some of the challenges we all face.”

Any business can have its say using the council’s online survey, which features some of the questions that will be discussed at the consultation event.

Complete the survey by January 31 by going to Feedback from the event and the survey will be presented to councillors when they make crucial budget decisions on February 13