Give your business a boost with our new campaign and win £10,000 of advertising

Welcome to our Business Boost campaign to help businesses grow.

We have joined forces with the chartered accountant Lamont Pridmore and law firm Bendles Solicitors to offer free advertising, mentoring and support to enterprises that show growth potential.

Applications are invited in two categories. One for new businesses – up to five years old – and one for established businesses of any age with fewer than 250 employees.

This is the fourth year that CN Group, publishers of the News & Star, The Cumberland News, The Whitehaven News, the Times & Star and the North West Evening Mail, has run the scheme.

A total of six businesses will win £10,000 to spend on advertising in our newspapers and associated websites – there will be one winner from each category for north, west and south Cumbria.

The aim is to help businesses reach new markets and so boost sales and profits.

James Higgins, head of CN Group's business unit, said: “Business Boost gives businesses a helping hand when they need it most, when they're growing.

“Launching a new business, product or service can put enormous strain on cashflow and resources, so £10,000 to spend on advertising and promotion could make the difference between success and failure.

“And the mentoring and advice on offer is priceless.”

Lamont Pridmore is offering finalists a copy of its book, 57 Ways to Grow Your Business, the help sheet What Makes a Successful Business and the booklet Competitiveness – How the Best UK Companies are Winning.

It will also offer an additional special sponsors' prize of free consultancy support to a business that it feels will benefit particularly.

Chief executive Graham Lamont said: “Our team is proud to be involved in an initiative that recognises the importance of encouraging the growth and development of our entrepreneurial and family businesses in Cumbria.

“In recognition of their hard work and dedication, we are offering a range of additional prizes to help them further boost their business performance.

“At Lamont Pridmore, we offer a range of products and services designed to meet our clients’ needs and help their businesses grow.

“We look forward to meeting and mentoring some of the business leaders of tomorrow through Business Boost 2017.”

Stuart Irving, company and employment partner at Bendles Solicitors, added: “As a firm we are very keen to get involved in helping small and new businesses start on a good foundation.

“Bendles has a long background in supporting and providing assistance to businesses in the local area since we were established, more than 150 years ago.

“As such we are acutely aware of their importance for the local economy and the benefits they bring to the local community, with reinvestment, employment and growth.

“We’re happy to commit to provide free assistance and guidance through a practical approach, delivered by our team of highly-skilled lawyers.”

Last year’s winners in north Cumbria were Cumbrian Stone, in Penrith, and Bruce and Luke's Coffee in Carlisle.

In West Cumbria, winners were Hills Books of Workington and Cockermouth beauty salon Pure Touch.

In south Cumbria, the winners were Cumbrian Cow ice cream, of Ulverston and Peter and Andrea Kelly, who run Swim in Lakes in Ambleside and The Chocolate Cottage in Grasmere.

Entrants should outline how their businesses will grow and how they might use a £10,000 advertising

campaign.

The closing date is March 31. Judging takes place early in April – details of the judging panel will be announced shortly – when shortlisted finalists will be invited to make a Dragons’ Den-style pitch.

Winners will be announced at the end of April.

Just fill out the form below for your chance to win.