The Express & Star is part of a campaign to deliver a £15 million boost to promising young businesses.
The Local Business Accelerators campaign led by Deborah Meaden of Dragons’ Den offers businesses formed between one and five years ago the chance to win free advertising space in their local publication and mentoring support from local business leaders.
More than 500 daily and weekly local newspapers across the UK are involved in the campaign which is supported by the Government and the private sector’s Business in You campaign and backed by Prime Minister David Cameron as well as the Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King.
The most promising businesses will go forward to the national stage of the competition to win a year’s mentoring from Deborah Meaden and a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative ad agency.
Last year’s overall LBA winner, Ilkley Brewery in Yorkshire, which is currently receiving mentoring support from Deborah, saw its orders in Leeds double as a result of the free LBA ad campaign in its local paper and the business expanded to take on two new employees since taking part in the initiative.
Mr Cameron said: “The Local Business Accelerators campaign has provided tremendous support to fledgling businesses across the country and I am delighted that it will be running for a second year.
“Local newspapers play a vital role in their communities and are uniquely placed to support small businesses.”
Businesses aged between one and five years can enter the competition via the LBA hub – www.accelerateme.co.uk – before the closing date of November 16.
Entrants will be required to enter a few details about their business and select Express & Star from the dropdown menu.