Nine chosen in business competition

NINE businesses from the News Guardian area have been chosen for the shortlist in the Local Business Accelerators competition.

The nationwide campaign, which was launched in October by regional and local newspapers across the country and backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden, will see 1,500 firms receive £15m of free advertising to help boost their businesses in 2012.

Judges reported that entries in North Tyneside were of an extremely high standard, with enthusiastic local firms recognising the benefits that local advertising can bring.

Two prominent members of the North Tyneside business community, David Rose, managing director of Fuda International Hobart Rose and chairman of the Cobalt and Silverlink Business Association, and Paul Irwin, owner of EastCoast Taxis and Tyne Idols Tours, alongside Northeast Press managing director Stuart Birkett, form the judging panel and will review and shortlist entries before awarding three of the businesses with 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 Deborah Meaden as a mentor during 2012.

As well as receiving top professional advice from our local business mentors, their prize also includes a substantial allocation of free advertising space in the pages of the News Guardian.

In addition, Deborah Meaden will become a mentor to one overall business, picked from the hundreds of regional winners, providing invaluable business support throughout 2012 to drive their business forward.

Chasing one of the three final places are:

n Monkey Print, a media and creative services business based in Planet Place, Killingworth;

n GeordieMugs, a gift manufacturing service based in Marden Avenue, Cullercoats;

n Trendy-Art, a contemporary photographic studio in Park View, Whitley Bay;

n Howdon Truck & Van Ltd, based in East Holywell, Shiremoor;

n Your Local Larder, a local food development and awareness service based in Whitley Bay;

n Trax Skate & Bike, a retail, hire and repair business in Station Road, Whitley Bay;

n Top Man Ventilation Services Ltd, a window automation service in the construction industry based at Newcastle Business Village, North Tyne Industrial Estate, Benton.

n The Play Station, a children’s soft play business based in West Avenue, Whitley Bay.

The three winners selected from the shortlist will be announced in the News Guardian on Thursday, January 12.