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Newspaper publications have joined forces to launch a campaign which will encourage the development of businesses. The Newspaper Society’s Local Business Accelerators scheme was revealed this week, and receives strong support from the Prime Minister and star of Dragons’ Den, Deborah Meaden.

Almost 500 newspaper groups in the UK are joining together to help businesses grow, with the aid of local business coaches and advertising space worth £15 million, free of charge. David Cameron is impressed by the scheme, describing it as an ‘excellent initiative’.

The Prime Minister went on to say that the government are reducing the amount of red tape, increasing tax relief for entrepreneurs and start up investors, reducing Corporation Tax and encouraging banks to escalate business lending. His aim is for this government to be the one to create growth for the economy. Of the LBA scheme, he said:

“The Local Business Accelerators campaign will help provide the boost that our smaller British businesses need right now. By joining forces to launch this excellent initiative, local newspapers are demonstrating their commitment and providing exactly the sort of practical, hands-on support that will help young local businesses succeed and grow.”

The businesses which qualify for the scheme will have only been around for a minimum of three years, and have been in business for at least a year. They must also be a valuable part of the local community. Deborah Meaden has offered to be a business mentor to one lucky business owner during 2012. The Dragons’ Den star recognises the value of local press behind a new business venture.

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