Prime Minister David Cameron hails KM Group-backed Local Business Accelerators campaign
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
The Prime Minister has praised the winners of a newspaper
campaign to boost business growth.
David Cameron hailed the Newspaper Society's second Local
Business Accelerators campaign - backed by the KM Group - as a
More than 500 newspapers have taken part in the scheme, which is
supported by the Government and the Business in You campaign.
LBA rewards firms with growth potential with free advertising,
expert mentoring and a possible date with Dragons' Den star Deborah
Meaden, the LBA ambassador, as well as other prizes worth more than
£10,000. Last year's winner Ilkley Brewery has been advised by Ms
Meaden and seen sales leap 140%.
Three Kent winners have already been announced - Bertie's Wood
Fuel, FooARage and Milk Chic/Armed and Glamorous.
The winning trio will shortly receive free mentoring by experts
at Reeves, the accounting and business advisory firm in Canterbury
and Chatham Maritime.
Mr Cameron said: "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
"Last year's national winner Ilkley Brewery has gone from
strength to strength, growing its sales by 140% and I hope this
year's winners will go on to enjoy similar success. I would like to
congratulate all the local winners and wish them all the best for
the national final."
Hadlow-based Bertie's, founded by Peter Tweddell, supplies high
quality wood fuel, kiln dried and seasoned logs, kindling and wood
briquettes, for open fires, stoves and log burners.
FooARage, a skateboard academy founded by Nicola Lewis and based
in Larkfield, is a community interest company that helps young
people, many disengaged from society, to take a new view on life by
designing and building a skateboard or longboard. It also supports
skate venues such as Cyclopark, Gravesend.
Melanie Brooks, from Maidstone, promotes fashion for
breast-feeding mothers through her MilkChic business, and sleeved
garments via her Armed and Glamorous enterprise.
Deborah Meaden, the campaign’s national ambassador, 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. We need to do everything
we can to support small business owners and entrepreneurs and LBA
is helping to do just that."
Tim Levey, a partner with Reeves and one of the Kent judges,
said: "Overall the three winners are as strong as those that we
picked last year and once again they come from a diverse range of