Video: Mercury and TV dragon helps firms

THE Great Yarmouth Mercury joins forces with entrepreneur and TV dragon Deborah Meaden to back the borough’s best business start-ups.

We are launching the Local Business Accelerators scheme - a competition run by newspapers around the country to offer �15m worth of free advertising to the UK’s most dynamic fledgling enterprises.

Nearly 500 regional newspapers across the country are taking part, including the Mercury, and its sister papers, the Eastern Daily Press, Evening News, and Lowestoft Journal.

Together, we will search for the nation’s most promising young businesses and help them “accelerate” their success with professional advice from business mentors plus a substantial allocation of free advertising space.

One business picked from the hundreds of regional winners will get individual mentoring sessions from Ms Meaden, who will become a consultant and mentor to the business for one year.

Ms Meaden said: “I’ve seen the unique contribution that local press makes to the success of local businesses time and again with my own ventures. “In this age of enterprise it has never been more important to drive awareness about the value of local marketing for a fledgling business, which is why I’m so proud to support Local Business Accelerators and help build thriving and industrious communities.”

The competition is open to all businesses that are active in the local community, between one and three years old and full of potential.

Most Read

They may have a great idea or product, or even found a new market.

They are the kind of businesses that will create new jobs and create pride in the community.

The Mercury’s winner will be selected by editor Anne Edwards and John Potter, of Potters Leisure Resort at Hopton.

The judges will review and shortlist entries before awarding the prize of free advertising and business advice.

They will also be looking out for that one overall star business to put forward to be in with a chance to gain Ms Meaden as a mentor during 2012.

Geraldine Allinson, president of the Newspaper Society, which has organised the competition, 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.”

• If you run such a business, or know anyone who does, and want the chance to receive invaluable business support and advertising space in the Great Yarmouth Mercury, visit for more information on the scheme and how to enter.

Entries close 14th November 2011.