BUSINESSES are being urged to help to make it a bumper Easter in Dorset as the economy springs into life.

Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represents 700 members employing 37,000 people, said the county needs to send an upbeat message that it is open for business.

Chief executive Ian Girling urged companies in tourism and retail to seize the opportunity to kickstart the season as visitors and day-trippers head to Dorset.

The message comes as fine weather arrived after months of storms and rain – and as the indicators show the economy gaining pace.

Mr Girling said: “This is another opportunity to really start driving the local economy forward after the heavy rains and floods which affected some businesses so badly earlier this year. We have benefited from fine weather so far during the Easter break and this should draw even more visitors, including daytrippers and last-minute bookings.

“Dorset is one of the premier destinations in the country.

“We need to be ready, and give the very best impression of Dorset so visitors will enjoy their time here, spend more and come back again.”