LOCAL firms have until the end of Friday to get into the running to win free advertising in the Lancaster Guardian plus mentoring from business leaders.
The newspaper is among more than 500 across the UK taking part in the industry’s acclaimed Local Business Accelerators (LBA) campaign.
It is estimated that the initiative, which is open to firms aged between one and five years old, will deliver a £15 million boost to business through the free advertising and mentoring.
So far, more than 1,100 firms have entered the competition.
The campaign is being led by Deborah Meaden of Dragon’s Den and is backed by prime minister David Cameron and Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England.
Local winners 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 local LBA winner was the Redwell Country Inn and Restaurant, which is based near Arkholme.
The Redwell received three months of free advertising in the Lancaster Guardian plus support from local business leaders.
Nicola Adam, editor of the Lancaster Guardian, said: “Local Business Accelerators is a great way for up and coming companies in our area to secure valuable support as they seek to establish and grow their business.
“That kind of help is needed more than ever as we try to get our economy back on track in the wake of the double-dip recession.
“There are still two days left to enter the competition and I would urge any eligible local firm which has yet to throw its hat into the ring to do so.”
Last year’s overall LBA winner, Ilkley Brewery in Yorkshire, which is currently receiving mentoring support from Deborah Meaden, 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.
Businesses can enter the competition in their local newspaper via the LBA hub at www.accelerateme.co.uk.
The closing date is tomorrow, Friday, November 16.