Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “Although this delay is disappointing it is crucial that we hold our nerve.
“It would be catastrophic for businesses and the economy if we started going backwards and were faced with a return to tighter restrictions.
“The economy is giving a great deal of cause for positivity currently and many of those businesses in Dorset which have been able to re-open have been bouncing back impressively.
“Clearly those businesses most affected by the delay, particularly in hospitality and events, will be incredibly frustrated and understandably so.
“Dorset Chamber will continue to work with the British Chambers of Commerce to lobby government for support and to ensure any delay is kept to a minimum.
“The tremendous support of the local community for businesses will continue to be greatly valued and appreciated as we count down the days to our final departure from this dreadful pandemic.”