Business Secretary Vince Cable has singled out the western Morning News for praise after it helped create 85 jobs on its patch.
The paper was one of a number of titles which helped distribute Regional Growth Fund cash to aid local businesses.
It was awarded a £1m government grant after teaming up with Plymouth University in a bid to boost small businesses and increase employment across its patch.
Local businesses were subsequently given cash grants ranging from £25,000 to £150,000 to create employment through the delivery of specific projects.
Addressing a Newspaper Conference lunch this week, Dr Cable was invited by Morning News London editor Graeme Demianyk to say why he thought the scheme had been a success.
He replied: “It has been successful for several reasons. I think first of all you have genuine local engagement – local business, local university, local newspaper – people can identify that this wasn’t some remote project operating from miles and miles away.
“The local newspaper brought it to people’s attention on the back of which you have hundreds and hundreds of applications from local small businesses who would never otherwise have heard of it.
“That’s one of the problems with Government schemes, new businesses are often unaware of what they are, the local newspaper did that service.”
The senior Lib Dem was asked by NS director David Newell if he understood “the sense of outrage” in the local newspaper industry over being dragged into the Royal Charter process for press regulation.
Dr Cable responded: “The honest answer is I’m just not close enough to the negotiations to give you a helpful answer.”