Winners set to accelerate

Two fledgling businesses will benefit from advertising worth thousands of pounds after winning the Belper News Local Business Accelerators competition.

In October the News invited entries from firms aged between one and three years across the town, offering them the chance to win free advertisements in this newspaper worth thousands of pounds.

The package of free advertising was part of a national campaign by the newspaper industry and business chiefs aimed at helping new firms.

The initiative, backed by Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden was being spearheaded by the voice of local media, the Newspaper Society.

Now, our winners have been chosen and they both show the potential for real growth - even in the current financial climate. In first place is A R H Domestic services run by Ann Hayward, which will receive a run of adverts worth a total of £3,500-plus, which are sure to help land the firm new customers. The adverts will run for 13 weeks.

Judges were impressed by the fact the company has tripled its customers, predicts significant growth for 2013 and also plans to take on employees this year.

AVB Mobile Beauty run by Amy Bennett has been awarded the second place prize and will get a run of adverts worth more than £2,500-plus.

In the firm’s first year of business it has been in positive figures every month and will now have the potential to build on its customer base with help from the News. Hundreds of local newspapers, including the Belper News, joined forces to back local companies as part of campaign.

Prime Minister David Cameron threw his weight behind the scheme , saying it provided “tremendous support” to new businesses across the country and that local newspapers play a “vital role” in their communities and were uniquely placed to support small businesses.

The winners of the Belper News competition now go forward into a regional 
contest and eventually there will be a national 
competition to find the country’s most 
promising young businesses and help them ‘accelerate’ their success with top professional advice from business mentors, including input from business guru Deborah Meaden.

The lucky business to 
eventually be picked from the hundreds of regional winners will get individual mentoring sessions from the LBA national ambassador Deborah, who will become a consultant and mentor to the firm for one year.