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Regional publisher launches 'Dragons' Den' contest

A Dragons’ Den-style competition to boost fledgling businesses  has been launched by a regional publisher.

The CN Group, which publishes titles across Cumbria including dailies News & Star, in Carlisle, and Barrow’s North West Evening Mail, is running its Business Boost scheme for a second year.

The competition will see new businesses (between one and five-years-old) and established businesses with fewer than 250 employees vie for a total of £60,000 worth of free advertising space.

Entrants will be split into three regions with the winning applicants in each of the two categories receiving £10,000 to spend across the group’s print editions and associated websites.

Entrants have until 20 March to outline how their businesses will grow and how they might use a £10,000 advertising campaign.

Judging will take place the following months, when shortlisted finalists will be invited to make a Dragons’ Den-style pitch for the prize.

David Helliwell, editor of The Cumberland News, said: “This is a great opportunity for a business to further spread its wings. What business wouldn’t want to take advantage of free advertising in its marketplace?

“This annual competition opens up the successful businesses to literally thousands of potential customers, or employees or suppliers, giving them a public platform that would normally cost many thousands of pounds.”