Waimate District Council mayor John Coles says he hopes the 50 to 60 people who work at a failed independent dairy company in the region will keep their jobs.
New Zealand Dairies milk processing plant near Waimate was put into receivership on Thursday, along with related companies Studholme Corporation Ltd and Dairy Exports New Zealand Ltd.
Mr Coles says there is not a lot of other industry or big business in the region to employ people.
He says a number of suppliers and dairy farmers also depend on income from the factory.
But Mr Coles says he is optimistic the receivers will sell the Russian-owned factory as a going concern.
Receivers from the accounting firm BDO say their objective is to preserve the jobs and operations in the short term and they intend to market the companies for sale.
Farmers who have supplied milk to the dairy company are worried they won't get the money they are owed, Federated Farmers says.
Federated Farmers' South Canterbury dairy chair Ryan O'Sullivan says the company had secured the business of a number of large-scale farms.
He says farmers are owed $1 - $1.50 per kilogram of milk solids on milk they have supplied, which for some farms could amount to $100,000, and much more for bigger farms.
Mr O'Sullivan says farmers are waiting to hear the terms of the receivership and whether they will be secured creditors with a chance of being paid monies due on 20 May.