THE PRESS today announces the seven local businesses, including a flooring business, IT company and second-hand retailer, that have made the shortlist in the Local Business Accelerators competition.

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

Judges – who included Stephen Kennedy, chief operating officer of CPP, Dr Paul Gibson, chief executive of PureNet and Katie Stewart, head of economic development at City of York Council - sifted through the entries from enthusiastic local firms which recognised the benefits that local advertising and mentoring can bring. The firms will now make this case to win the support package at a pitching competition on January 5, before three winners are selected by the judging panel. 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 Press.

In addition, Deborah Meaden will also 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.

Julie Hayes, business editor of The Press, said there had been a lot of interest in the competition.

“Different kinds of businesses from all over York, North and East Yorkshire entered the competition, and other organisations have also approached us to offer further support and prizes.

“Support for businesses is in the spotlight at the moment. There is a lot of demand, and, luckily, some excellent organisations and individuals in York are well placed to provide it. I’m delighted we’ve been able to make these links, and the free advertising from The Press will really provide a boost to these fledgling ventures.”

The winners will be announced in January.

Two further businesses which entered the competition will be chosen separately to receive additional prizes, including six months free desk space at new business centre Blake House, and one to win a marketing plan from Your Marketing People. These will be announced separately in January.


IT BUSINESS Clearwave Enterprise Solutions aims to help small business get their IT systems right first time. The business invests in new technologies to improve their service to customers, including cloud technologies and a remote system that picks up problems before they need to call for help. Elliott Chandler, managing director, says he is ready to take the business to the next level, with mentoring support and advertising to local businesses.

Eco Flooring and Restoration UK

Jim Sanderson took a sabbatical from his role as a firefighter to set up his business Eco-Flooring & Restoration UK, which has since won prestigious contracts around the country.

Jim specialises in recycling old parquet flooring from disused schools and factories into new flooring and now employs four people at Poppleton Gate House, Millgate. He has so far relied upon recommendation, and hopes mentoring and advertising will help him expand the business further.

Bring Buy Sell

Jason Hadlow opened Bring Buy Sell at Crockey Hill in October after having the idea for a consignment store, where members of the public or small businesses could take their goods to be sold for them in the 10,000 sq ft store. He was awarded regional development agency funding of £150,000 to set up a chain of 200 stores in five years, which fell through when the agencies were abolished, so he now plans to build up the empire one store at a time.

Lu Lin Teas

Hans Verhoosel and his partner Amy Gallagher who run Lu Lin Teas, meaning Green Forest, supply speciality teas from China through their coffee house La Place Verte coffee house on Skeldergate Bridge. The teas, selected from small local farmers with the help of a local tea aficionado, have proved popular with customers. The firm hopes to expand to target markets including trade customers. Their innovative cube-shaped tea bag has also received acclaim.

Little Green Rascals

Little Green Rascals is a day nursery built on the ethics of sustainability and respect.

Vanessa Warn, who employs 35 people at the nursery based at York Maze, is hoping to replicate the model and roll out other nurseries.

Ebor Law

Ebor Law was set up in High Petergate, York, in 2009 as a family-law specialist firm with only three partners. It has grown to employ six people, and has achieved individual Accredited Specialist Status while also sustaining a pro-bono scheme to help domestic-violence victims. It is now working in partnership with a web design company to launch an innovative online product, targeted to a national audience.

Law Wizard

Solicitor Tom Hiskey and web developer Rob Blake have created Law Wizard, an online application enabling people to carry out simple legal procedures themselves online. Starting with probate, they plan to launch step by step guides to help revolutionise the legal system.