Still time to give new businesses a boost

Deborah Meaden
Deborah Meaden
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Young businesses in the Spalding area are taking the first steps to getting a powerful boost by entering the Local Business Accelerators (LBA) campaign.

Spalding Guardian Local Business Accelerators rewards promising young businesses with free local newspaper advertising and mentoring – and there’s still time to enter before the deadline of Friday, November 16.

Local press advertising is a proven force to drive growth for small businesses. Sixty per cent of owners agree that advertising in their local newspaper is the best way to attract customers in their area – and the same can be said for mentoring.

Ninety per cent of businesses that secured help from a mentor reported seeing the benefit, with three quarters citing an improvement in their ability to develop business plans and strategy.

Mentoring is a key part of the Government and private sector’s Business in You campaign which is supporting LBA for the first time. Business in You highlights the range of support and advice available to businesses to help them start up, improve and grow.

And a key partner of the Business in You campaign is – Britain’s first online mentoring gateway, owned and operated by the British Banker’s Association – which provides a single point of access for businesses seeking mentoring and those seeking to become mentors.

The gateway currently provides access to over 110 organisations and, through them, to around 22,000 mentors – a number that continues to grow.

Local Business Accelerators national ambassador Deborah Meaden, of TV’s Dragons’ Den, will provide a year’s mentoring to the national winner, chosen from the regional finalists. It will also receive a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative agency, plus a £10,000 cash sum from the Business Growth Fund.

The south Lincolnshire-based business mentors are Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press editor Jeremy Ransome, Deborah Brown from Roythornes solicitors, Keith Forrest from NatWest bank and Alistair Main from Duncan and Toplis chartered accountants. They will form a judging panel to shortlist entries before awarding one local company with the prize.

To enter the competition, which is also being backed by Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King, visit www.accelerateme.