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Thinking of starting a business? Please refer to our starting a business page for contact details on where to obtain advice and guidance
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Support for Retail

Public funding for retail businesses

Generally support to specific retail businesses (including capital development) can be viewed as causing displacement (potentially unfair competition) and is therefore normally ineligible for European-funding support. It may be possible for European funding to support retailers in acquiring advice on e.g. improving their performance in environmental sustainability or equal opportunities or in respect of an operation which provides generic business advice support but examples like this require to be considered on a case by case basis.

For further information click here

Starting a Retail Business

For information on start up support and funding for business start ups click here

COBRA - The Complete Business Reference Adviser

Dudley Libraries has a subscription to this online resource giving you free access when you log in with your library card and pin number.

To access COBRA click here

Retail Associations & Support

British Retail Consortium

The British Retail Consortium is the lead and the only trade association which covers the whole of the retail industry.

For further information click here 

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA)

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) is the voice of independent retailers. They are the leading trade association for independent retailers in the UK. The aim of BIRA is to provide support, business services and specialist representation to members. BIRA member services include:

  • a specialist bank for independent retailers

  • free legal advice

  • specialist retail insurance schemes

  • retail specific training

  • combined buying power of 7500 members

    For further information click here

BIRA bank

The BIRA bank is the only trade association bank in the UK (and also the only specialist bank for independent retailers) and offer a range of products to BIRA members.

For further information click here

Inside Retail - iR

An informative free resource for buyers from across the retailing sector.  iR have teamed up with leading brands including Virgin Media and Google to offer valuable insight to support your business and stimulate growth. A series of Inside Retail reports released by i2i Events included a guide for new independent start-ups.

For more information click here

HM Revenue & Customs Digital Help and Support for Businesses

HMRC have a great selection of products, in a variety of digital media, that can help businesses, including on-line presentations, e-learning and tax information videos on YouTube.

For further information on HMRC services click here

Funding for retail businesses

Funding Circle

Funding Circle - Funding Circle is a Government approved online marketplace to help businesses find low cost loans.

  • You can borrow between £5k and £1M to keep your business growing

  • You can borrow for all sorts of requirements, including - working capital, expansion capital, asset finance, one off business expenses.

    For further information on the Funding Circle click here 

Dudley Council related support

Dudley Business Directory 

Register for free and promote the products and services of your retail business.

For further information click here

Land & Property Searches 

Dudley Business First can undertake a free land and property including retail premises.

For further information click here

Business Rate Reductions

Business Rates (also known as National Non-Domestic Rates) are a tax on business properties. The tax is set by the government and business rates collected by local authorities. There are a number of initiatives available including 

  •  £1000 Retail Relief

  • Small Business Rate Relief

  • Charitable & Discretionary Relief

  • Empty Properties

  • Unoccupied Property Rating

  • Partial Occupation

    For further information please click here

Business Rates Paying by 12 Instalments

You now have the option to pay your business rates over 12 instalments rather than the usual 10.

For further information click here

Trading Standards

Trading Standards support businesses by giving free advice to all businesses based within Dudley Borough about any aspect of consumer protection legislation that may have an impact on their business.

For further information click here

Business Companion

Business Companion provides information for businesses and individuals that need to know about trading standards and consumer protection legislation

To access the Business Companion click here

Planning Services

Planning permission may be required to change the use of a property, even if no building works are involved (this includes signs or adverts).

For further information click here

Trading at Dudley Market

Dudley Market is open six days every week and provides a high quality shopping service to members of the local community.

For further information click here

Dudley MBC Federation of Small Businesses Black Country Chamber of Commerce Black Country Growth Hub