Prime Minister gets behind our scheme

David Cameron has highlighted the role of the local newspaper industry in supporting British business on the day regional and local newspapers, including Chad, announce the winners of Local Business Accelerators.

The Prime Minister today extended his congratulations to the winning businesses who will receive a substantial allocation of free advertising in the Chad and mentoring from local business leaders.

Mr Cameron said: “Congratulations to all the winners of the Local Business Accelerators scheme. It’s brilliant that so many promising young companies, from such a wide range of sectors, are benefitting from this excellent initiative.

“Entrepreneurship, creativity and ambition are essential for our economic recovery and through Local Business Accelerators, newspapers such as the Chad are supporting some great new British businesses to grow, and helping to boost their local economy.

“I wish the newspapers, businesses and their mentors every success over the coming months.”

The winning businesses in the Mansfield Chad - Nether Langwith-based community organisation Rhubarb Farm - will receive a package that will help them to boost its business at the start of the new year.

It will get advertising in the three editions of the Chad - the Mansfield Chad, the Ashfield Chad and the Alfreton Chad - worth more than £40,000 over a three-month period.

Said managing director, Jennie Street: “It’s marvellous. We need some good news because it is quite difficult keeping a social enterprise on the road. We make quite a lot of impact on people’s lives, we’ve had some knockbacks, but this is good news. It’s fantastic.”

Rhubarb Farm is a project which helps to to turn around the lives of people - including ex-offenders, the unemployed and those with mental and physical health problems - through horticulture and will use the advertising package to help secure more placements for folk.

The second placed business, Trampoline Central, of Mansfield, will receive advertising space worth more than £20,000.

Our third placed winner, Phoenix Physiotherapy and Laser Clinic, based at Sookholme’s John Fretwell Sporting Complex, is set to be given advertising space in the three Chads during next year worth more than £15,000.

The mentors in the Chad area will be former Mansfield Building Society chief executive David Fisher and George Cowcher, chief executive of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce.

Chad joined up with the Newspaper Society, which is hoping to deliver a £15m boost to dynamic, fledgling firms through free newspaper advertising across the country through the initiative.

Later in the year, one business will go on to be crowned the overall Local Business Accelerators winner and receive mentoring from the campaign’s national ambassador Deborah Meaden, of Dragon’s Den.

Backed by high profile figures including the Prime Minister and the CBI’s John Cridland, the campaign has seen the local newspaper industry come together to deliver a shot in the arm for British business.

Local Business Accelerators has also received the support of Stephen Welton, Business Growth Fund chief executive, who said the initiative was providing a “powerful boost” to young businesses.

The Business Growth Fund has contributed to Local Business Accelerators by offering a series of free half day workshop sessions at its regional centres to winning businesses.

Mr Welton added: “Our workshops will help business owners to think about how they can expand; how they can reach new audiences and new markets; how they can begin exporting; and how they can raise the capital that they might need to fund their ambitions.

“The question that BGF will be addressing in 2012 is how best can we find, encourage and support ambitious business owners. The Local Business Accelerators scheme is playing a vital role in furthering this ambition.”