GOOD news for local businesses looking to be a winner – the Local Business Accelerators competition has been given a £10,000 cash boost.

The sum is being stumped up by the Business Growth Fund (BGF) – an independent business established to help the UK’s fast growing smaller and medium-sized businesses.

BGF has come forward to add a £10,000 cash sum to the prize package for the overall winner of the national competition, launched two weeks ago, that is being spearheaded by The Newspaper Society and has been backed by Gazette Newspapers along with hundreds of other newspaper titles around the country.

BGF’s contribution means the prize pot for the overall LBA winning business now consists of a year’s mentoring from the camp-aign’s ambassador Deborah Meaden, a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative ad agency as well as the £10,000 cash prize.

BGF chief executive Stephen Welton said: “Local Business Accelerators is an excellent initiative by the local press industry which recognises and rewards the most promising young businesses. It is a much-needed boost to UK entrepreneurship.”

Since the LBA launch two weeks ago, more than 400 businesses nationally have entered the competition, well ahead of the November 16 deadline. It is open to all businesses that are between one and five years old.

Among those encouraging local businesses to enter is The Gazette’s overall winner from this year, Linda Cheung, who, with her partner Mark Bower, runs social media start-up CubeSocial, based in Chineham.

Linda – whose company won three months of free advertising in The Gazette and received free mentoring from two experts at accountancy firm and business advisers RSM Tenon – said she was delighted with the exposure she gained in The Gazette. Linda said: “We were not only pleased with the adverts that ran in the paper, but were delighted to build up our relationship with The Gazette, which has helped us raise our profile.”

Linda added: “I thought the mentoring support from RSM Tenon was fantastic.” LBA ambassador Deborah Meaden has taken a leaf out of CubeSocial’s book by tweeting about the 2012-13 campaign.

Follow LBA on Twitter @acceleratelocal.