Businesses in the Midlands are demonstrating that family values are still holding true.

A study of companies with the words "and son" or "and daughter" placed Wolverhampton amongst the twenty towns with the highest number of family firms.

The report, by Yellow Pages publisher Yell, also showed builders, farmers and funeral directors have the most family businesses.

Other trades included plumbing, painting and carpentry.

Richard Duggleby, head of external relations at Yell, said: "Our study shows the incredibly diverse cross-section of businesses that choose to keep it in the family.

"It's encouraging to see that sons and daughters are joining the family empire to ensure the survival of some of the more specialist trades and retailers."

One such is Olton-based funeral directors C.Bastock - which is about to celebrate 150 years.

Director David Bastock, who represents the seventh generation of Bastocks to work in the firm, said keeping a business in the family had its benefits.

"I think you can all pull together as a family in a way that perhaps other firms can't," Mr Bastock said.

"For example, in busy times I can ask mum to come in and give us a hand answering the phones. There's not many directors that could get away with that!

"I think a family firm in our industry is also a positive. We can give a personal touch. The man conducting the funeral is also the man with his name above the door - I think that gives you a greater responsibility to get things right."

However, 35-year-old Mr Bastock was surprised that funeral directors were so high in Yell's list of family-run firms.

"Twenty years ago I would have agreed, but the industry has seen a lot of consolidation with firms being bought out by large groups. There are a lot of funeral directors who have kept the family name, but the family no longer run them.

"The independent sector is dwindling - there is now only about ten or twelve operating in Birmingham nowadays. Much less than ten years ago.

"We receive letters monthly from big companies offering to buy us out. It's tempting, but I think family firm's give better service. If we don't, why do so many keep their names after being sold?"

Mr Bastock said he felt there were few down sides to working with family.

"The positives certainly outweigh the negatives although I talk shop too much with my dad, who is managing director.

"But the good thing is there is a lot of trust between us.

"After all, if you can't have implicit trust between a father and a son, you have to wonder who can?"

The study of the 100 Yellow Pages directories was published to mark Yell's family business awards.

Yell is offering a national prize package worth around £13,000 in its first Yell Best Family Business Awards and is looking for entries from the Midlands.

The awards are open to family businesses which are currently run by at least one family member (as chief executive, managing director, owner or similar) with at least one other immediate family member working for the business.