THE PRESIDENT of Dorchester’s Chamber of Commerce insists that business in the town is still thriving despite two body blows in a turbulent month.

Two care homes, Greenbushes and Avenue House in Weymouth Avenue, employing 36 staff have gone into administration and a buyer is being sought.

The news came just days after it was revealed that Dorchester based Bredy Agricente – which is believed to employ more than 40 staff – had also entered administration.

Chamber president Alison Moore said she feels for the employees of the companies involved and hopes their future can be secured.

She said: “It is sad to hear that Greenbushes and Avenue House care homes have gone into administration, and my thoughts are with staff and residents during the uncertainty.

“We do have a shortage of care places in Dorchester so I hope a buyer can be found for both homes – I understand there is some interest locally – so we don’t lose these valuable resources.”

Joint adminstrators Bob Maxwell and Julie Palmer say there is no update on the position of the two homes and a buyer is still being sought.

Mrs Moore said that the troubled times for the care homes and Bredy Agricentre was in contrast to the overall picture of the county town and there were opportunities out there for businesses and individuals.

She said: “Dorchester has bucked the trend economically, with businesses opening in the town centre and Poundbury. And I hope that staff at Bredy Agricentre will also be able to get new jobs quickly – we also have opportunities for retraining through local providers including Kingston Maurward and Weymouth College.”

Mrs Moore added that she was keen to get the message out that Dorchester was still very much a good place to do business and welcomed new commerce.

She said: “While it has been disappointing, I think that the vibrancy in and around Dorchester speaks for its economic success and with several new businesses looking for suitable premises, I believe that we are continuing our economic growth.

“Dorchester is still very much ‘open for business’.”