BUSINESSES have already been helped with £2 million worth of grants in less than a week by Dudley Council as part of a rapid response fund totalling more than £40million.

Business grants have been made available as part of a support package during the coronavirus pandemic.

So far 95 small businesses and businesses from the retail, hospitality and leisure industries have been given financial support – one of the highest numbers in the Black Country.

Around £2million in grants has been given out in less than a week - since the scheme was opened up on April 1.

Smaller businesses, with rateable values of up to £15,000, will be able to apply for grants of £10,000 while certain medium to larger firms in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries, with rateable values of less than £51,000, will have access to grants of £25,000.

Dudley Council has been contacting businesses directly, while others have completed an online form to unlock thousands of pounds of financial support.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: "I said from the start that we needed to have a rapid response to help businesses and I am delighted we have been able to help so many in such a short space of time. There is still lots of work to be done though, and we must continue to support businesses through these extremely challenging times.

There is information on our website for people to see if they are eligible and to apply for grants. I urge people to have a look and see how we can help them.”

Halesowen BID manager Vicky Rogers praised the council for handing out cash so quickly.

She said: "I can't thank the council enough.

"They have pulled out all the stops to get money to businesses which are in desperate need during the crisis."

Vicky said the BID had been liaising between business - many who do not realise they can get help - and the council.

She said entertainment and wedding venue Benjamin's in Halesowen had already received its grant of £25k.

Dudley Council will also soon be applying a full year of 100 per cent business rate relief for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses and nurseries.

It has also ordered an immediate stop to bailiffs and court actions for payment defaults, while initial direct debit payments of business rates were frozen immediately and will be rescheduled for those businesses that are still required to pay.

Eligible businesses can get more information on how to claim by visiting

For further business advice and guidance visit