David Cameron has praised the success of a scheme designed to enable local and regional newspapers to support businesses on their patch.
Newspapers across the UK have been announcing the winners of the latest Local Business Accelerators scheme this week.
The scheme offers free newspaper advertising to the winners along with mentoring from local business leaders.
The Prime Minister said the initiative reflected “huge credit” on the newspapers taking part.
Said Mr Cameron: “Last year’s Local Business Accelerators campaign was a phenomenal success and showed what a huge range of strong, growing businesses there are across the country.
“It is a huge credit to the papers taking part that they are offering real support to their local businesses. They play a vital role in local communities and are uniquely placed to boost their local economy in this way.”
As well as free advertising and mentoring, the winning business have the chance of progressing to the national stages of the competition which will see the overall LBA winner receive mentoring support from the Dragons’ Den’s Deborah Meaden.
Last year’s national winner, Ilkley Brewery, has subsequently seen a 140pc growth in sales.
This week’s regional winners include an oil tank equipment company, chosen by the Eastern Daily Press, a restaurant from the Bournemouth Echo, an online tyre fitting company from the Bradford Telegraph & Argus and a construction consultancy from the Ipswich Star.
One of the Western Mail’s winners is a technology firm which enables homeowners to use digital technology to control functions around the home while the Cambridge News announced a fish and chip shop as one of its winners.
The News and Star, Carlisle, announced six winners including a marketing firm and a events company.
Deborah Meaden said: “I would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s Local Business Accelerators who should all feel extremely proud to have got this far in the competition.
“The first LBA created hundreds of business success stories across the UK and I am confident that we will see hundreds more again this year, as the winners receive the campaign prize of free local newspaper advertising and mentoring.”