BUSINESS Eye and the Gazette are enthusiastically backing a national campaign to boost young and upcoming companies, writes David Tooley.
The Newspaper Society, supported by 500 local papers across the country, has launched the Local Business Accelerators campaign.
We’re on the lookout for local businesses that are between one and three years old and could benefit from some free mentoring and a three-month free advertising campaign.
The process of getting a business entered is easy.
There’s a special website at www.accelerateme.co.uk with all the information and a simple entry form.
But the entries must be in by November 14.
All the entries will then be judged by a panel of mentors, Vince Williams, the chairman of Hemel Hempstead Town Centre Partnership, Jeoff Colls, of Connect Dacorum and Jonathan Shirley of Complete Outdoors.
Mr Colls said: “As a member of the judging panel I am excited to see the many diverse and interesting local companies who are keen to enter this competition.
“I have lived and worked in Hemel all my life and am keen to offer my business experience to the winner.
“Currently I run a service of the local charity Community Action Dacorum called Connect Dacorum.
“Through this I help local businesses with their Corporate Social Responsibility activities with Dacorum charities and good causes.”
l Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has added his backing to the campaign, which already has the support of Prime Minister David Cameron and is spearheaded by Dragons Den star Deborah Meaden.
More than 1,000 businesses have already entered.
Mr Hunt said: “It will help hundreds of small businesses establish themselves, helping to grow our economy and create jobs. This really shows the incredibly valuable role that local newspapers play in their local communities.”
The initiative has received coverage in the national and trade press and on Twitter.
See the right hand side of this page for a link to the Local Business Accelerators website.