NEW businesses are urged to enter our fantastic Local Business Accelerators competition to win part of a £15 million national pot of cash.

Over 500 newspapers across the UK are joining forces to deliver a boost to promising young businesses through free advertising and mentoring.

Businesses aged between one and five years old can enter LBA for the chance to win a free ad campaign in the Packet, plus mentoring support from local business leaders.

The most promising businesses will go forward to the national stage of the competition to win a year’s mentoring from celebrity entrepreneur Deborah Meaden and a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative ad agency.

The Dragon’s Den star said: “With last year’s LBA having demonstrated the unique power of local and regional press to provide a meaningful boost to promising young businesses, I am delighted to be supporting the initiative once again.

“The campaign provided tangible examples of the real contribution that local newspapers can provide to young businesses across many different sectors, accelerating their development.

“Enterprise and entrepreneurism in the local community is more important than ever before and I look forward to finding another young business to mentor and drive forward.”

Prime Minister David Cameron added: “The Local Business Accelerators campaign has provided tremendous support to fledgling businesses across the country and I am delighted that it will be running for a second year.

“Local newspapers play a vital role in their communities and are uniquely placed to support small businesses, giving them the boost that they need to grow, which is good for local areas and good for the economy as a whole.

“I hope more young businesses put themselves forward over the coming months and get involved with this innovative scheme, which rewards entrepreneurship and creative thinking in business.”

Businesses aged between one and five years can enter the competition in their local newspaper via the LBA hub – – before the closing date of November 16.

Over 500 daily and weekly local newspaper titles are registered to take part in LBA which aims to highlight how local newspapers can provide a meaningful boost to young businesses.