Local press in £15m campaign to help business

The Newspaper Society has launched a new initiative that will give £15m of free advertising and support to local businesses in the UK.

The Local Business Accelerators scheme will provide free advertising, support and business mentoring to around 1,500 new businesses across Britain and will be fronted by Dragons’ Den judge Deborah Meaden.

The Newspaper Society has launched the initiative to promote the ‘strength and value of local press advertising for business success”.

Today’s launch will see almost 500 local and regional run advertisements searching for the UK’s most promising young businesses, which are in line to win a ‘substantial allocation of free advertising space”.

In a release Newspaper Society president Geraldine Allinson said: ‘The UK needs to grow local businesses like never before, and local businesses need local press. No other medium has the power, local knowledge and influence to activate a scheme like Local Business Accelerators.

‘It’s where local newspapers have always made a real difference: by helping to build strong local businesses and encourage thriving communities.’

The scheme has received the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron.

“In towns and cities across the country, local and regional newspapers are helping to build stronger local communities and contributing to growth by supporting local businesses,’he said. ‘They have a major role to play in championing growth.

He added: ‘The Local Business Accelerators campaign will help provide the boost that our smaller British businesses need right now. By joining forces to launch this excellent initiative, local newspapers are demonstrating their commitment and providing exactly the sort of practical, hands-on support that will help young local businesses succeed and grow.”

The scheme is open to all businesses active in the local community that have been operating for between one to three years.

Entries close 14 November 2011.

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