THREE fledgling firms will receive three months of free advertising in the Liverpool Post to boost their businesses, after succeeding in the Local Business Accelerator (LBA) campaign.
They were chosen from scores of entries from across Merseyside in the national competition coordinated by the Newspaper Society to encourage growth among small and medium-sized firms by offering free advertising worth up to £15m in local newspapers across the country, and expert advice from local business mentors.
Liverpool Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jack Stopforth and Prof Phil Harris, executive dean of the faculty of business, enterprise and life-long learning at the University of Chester, kindly agreed to offer their expertise as mentors.
LBA is supported by Prime Minister David Cameron, CBI director-general John Cridland, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Dragons’ Den TV star Deborah Meaden.
Eight entrants were shortlisted in the Merseyside region last month and three have now been chosen as the most promising candidates to deliver jobs and business growth.
The successful firms are Spex4less.com, based in Hoylake; Liverpool firm Feed it Green; and Walton’s Dance Passion Community Interest Company.
Spex4less.com is an online provider of glasses and prescription glasses which employs eight staff and is in the process of establishing a high street presence to run alongside the internet business.
Feed it Green, in Hanover Street, installs solar panels for domestic properties to help families reduce their energy costs and said the advice of expert business mentors, which would not normally have been available, will only help project the business to success.
Dance Passion currently engages with more than 500 people each week, from schools to community groups and Primary Care Trusts.
It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of participants through dance and since it was established in 2010 the organisation has already raised more than £50,000 for charities, including Marie Curie, and the Liverpool-based Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and The Linda McCartney Centre.
An overall national winner in the LBA scheme, to be announced in the summer, will receive a year’s mentoring from Dragons’ Den star and LBA national ambassador Deborah Meaden, who said: “LBA is the perfect opportunity to drive your business to success.”