Fab four reach final of local business contest

FOUR Borders businesses were today shortlisted for The Southern Reporter Local Business Accelerator 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, right, will see hundreds of businesses rewarded with a free ad campaign in their local paper and mentoring from local business leaders.

Local judges said entries in the region were of an extremely high standard, with enthusiastic firms in the region recognising the benefits that local advertising can bring.

The Borders businesses to have made the LBA shortlist are: the Selkies Artisan Soap Company in Jedburgh; SoConnect Ltd, Galashiels; Stuart Davidson Architecture, Selkirk; and Hendersons, in Melrose.

The firms will now be asked to make a pitch and be interviewed by a panel of judges before one winner is selected. As well as receiving top professional advice from a local business mentor, the winner’s prize includes a substantial allocation of free advertising space in the pages of The Southern Reporter.

Susan Windram, editor, said: “The LBA competition was a huge success last year, and I am delighted that we were able to take part again this year.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the winning business, who will gain invaluable support from a business mentor, someone who is a successful business person in their own right and has extensive knowledge of many areas of business.

“Last year’s competition proved a great opportunity for fledgling businesses to showcase their ambition and we want to find more.

“The four businesses shortlisted have each presented interesting business proposals and I’m looking forward to hearing from each one as we start our search for a worthy winner.”

The successful firm will be named in The Southern Reporter in January.