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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Last few days to enter Local Business Accelerators competition

Time is running out to enter Local Business Accelerators, our scheme to boost the fortunes of fledgling Cumbrian businesses.

Six businesses across north and west Cumbria will each win £10,000 worth of free advertising in The Cumberland News and its sister titles the News & Star and the Times & Star.

Winners of the competition, sponsored by accountancy firm Armstrong Watson and the University of Cumbria, also get free mentoring from some of the leading lights of Cumbrian business.

The panel of mentors includes Katie Milbourn of Walby Farm Park, Chris Reay of Reay’s Coaches, Charles Watt of Cranstons Butchers and Bill Dobie of Dobies Group.

Entries are invited from businesses between one and five years old. All will get a voucher for 20 per cent off an advertising campaign (terms and conditions apply).

The official deadline is today but, because judging does not start until next week, entries received over the weekend will be accepted. Apply online at www.accelerateme.co.uk.

Suzanne Brown, of Suziebou, has entered already.

Her shop in The Square at Dalston sells handbags, jewellery, greetings cards and gifts. She opened it two years ago and moved to bigger premises next door in June.

Mrs Brown, 37, said: “The business is going quite well but has slowed down a bit in the last few months, which I put down to the general state of the economy.

“The £10,000 advertising campaign would certainly help.

“The mentoring would be a big help too.”

Business Accelerators is a national scheme spearheaded by the Newspaper Society.

Five hundred newspapers across the country are offering £15m worth of advertising and mentoring.

The most promising local winners go forward to the national stage to win a year’s mentoring from Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden and a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative ad agency.

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