Telegraph joins campaign helping local small firms accelerate into the future
THE Grimsby Telegraph today joins with the local newspaper industry nationwide to launch the highly acclaimed Local Business Accelerators campaign.
Led by Deborah Meaden, pictured, of Dragon's Den fame, the second year comes as new research shows that Britain's young businesses are positive about prospects for growth despite tough economic times – but they still need advice and support.
The campaign, supported by the Government and private sector's Business In You campaign and backed by the Prime Minister David Cameron, as well as the governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King, is now in its second year.
More than 500 newspapers across the UK are joining forces to deliver a £15-million boost to promising young businesses through free advertising and co-ordinating mentoring.
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Firms aged between one and five years old can enter LBA for the chance to win a free ad campaign in the Grimsby Telegraph plus mentoring support from local business leaders. The most promising businesses will go forward to the national stage of the competition to win a year's mentoring from Deborah and a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative ad agency.
LBA national ambassador Deborah said: "With last year's LBA having demonstrated the unique power of local and regional press to provide a meaningful boost to promising young businesses, I am delighted to be supporting the initiative once again.
"The campaign provided tangible examples of the real contribution that local newspapers can provide to young businesses across many different sectors, accelerating their development.
"Enterprise and entrepreneurism in the local community is more important than ever before and I look forward to finding another young business to mentor and drive forward."
Last year's overall LBA winner, Ilkley Brewery, in Yorkshire, which is currently receiving mentoring support from Deborah, 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 since taking part in the initiative.
Research conducted by Toluna and campaign organiser the Newspaper Society reveals that a third of owners of young businesses expect some or significant growth in the next 12 months (35 per cent) with the majority saying they expected their businesses to perform at the same level (53 per cent). Just 12 per cent said they expected decline. They cited high rent and rates, sluggish consumer demand, access to affordable finance, and access to advice as the biggest barriers for local businesses.
Owners were most likely to use local newspapers to advertise their businesses (22 per cent), followed by internet advertising (15 per cent) and directories (14 per cent). Local newspapers were cited as the most effective of all forms of advertising (49 per cent), followed by outdoor / point of sale (48 per cent), and internet (45 per cent).
To enter, see the advert on the facing page.