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Friday, 25 April 2014

Cumbrian winners of Local Business Accelerators competition named

Six fledgling businesses in north and west Cumbria have each won £10,000 worth of advertising in the News & Star and its sister titles.

Eden Rock and May Fifteen in Carlisle, Acorn Marketing, of Penrith, MamaBabyBliss, of Eaglesfield, The Coffee Kitchen in Cockermouth and Funtastic, of Workington, were today unveiled as winners of Local Business Accelerators.

The annual competition gives a helping hand to young businesses established for between one and five years, which the judges believe have exciting growth potential.

The winners also get free mentoring from some of the leading lights of Cumbrian business.

Local Business Accelerators (LBA) is a national contest, launched in autumn 2011 under the auspice of the Newspaper Society. Around 500 local and regional newspapers take part.

The Cumbrian winners go forward to the regional stages where they could win a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative ad agency and a year’s mentoring from Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden who is the campaign’s national ambassador.

She said: “I would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s Local Business Accelerators who should all feel extremely proud to have got this far in the competition.

“The first LBA created hundreds of business success stories across the UK and I am confident that we will see hundreds more again this year.

“We need to do everything we can to support small business owners and entrepreneurs and LBA is helping to do just that.”

LBA is supported by the Government and private sector’s Business in You campaign.

Research found that local newspaper advertising is highly valued by small business owners, with 60 per cent agreeing that advertising in the local paper is the best way to attract customers.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Last year’s Local Business Accelerators campaign was a phenomenal success and showed what a huge range of strong, growing businesses there are across the country.

“It is a huge credit to the papers taking part that they are offering real support to their local businesses.

“They play an essential role in local communities and are uniquely placed to boost their local economy.

“Last year’s national winner, Ilkley Brewery, has gone from strength to strength, growing its sales by 140 per cent, and I hope this year’s winners will go on to enjoy similar success.

“I would like to congratulate all the Cumbrian winners and wish them all the best for the national final.”

The national winner also gets £10,000 in cash from the Business Growth Fund, a year’s membership of the CBI, £2,000 worth of advice from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, an iPad from Freeagent, and from BT free business broadband and wifi for a year and the design and management of a website.

The competition in Cumbria is sponsored by Armstrong Watson and the University of Cumbria.

To find out more, visit www.accelerateme.co.uk.

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