Milgro, the onion people, who are based in Limavady are among 11 promising young businesses from across the UK which have been shortlisted for the finals of Local Business Accelerators - the regional press campaign to boost local business.
Judges from the top of the business community reviewed the LBA nominated businesses and whittled them down to create the regions and nations shortlist of 11 businesses from across the UK.
The LBA Nations and Regions shortlist is:
East Midlands, Credit Assist, Northants Telegraph
Eastern, FXHOME, Eastern Daily Press
London and South East, Creative Nature, Surrey Advertiser
North East, Logic Architecture, Teesside Gazette
North West, Beech Holdings, Manchester Evening News
Northern Ireland, Milgro, Farming Life (News Letter)
Scotland, Administrate, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday
South West, Blue Bee Solutions, Salisbury Journal
Wales, Dioni, Daily Post
West Midlands, Natural Dogs Direct, Burton Mail
Yorkshire and the Humber, The Yorkshire Wagyu Company, The York Press
Today (Tuesday 15 March) the People’s Choice Vote will launch, showcasing all the shortlisted businesses. The vote will be live for a week (15 -21 March) and will enable the public to vote for their favourite local business. The business with the most votes will be crowned the People’s Choice winner, an additional award to the LBA overall winner.
Chaired by Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden, LBA ambassador, the judging panel consisted of CBI acting director for competitive markets Tom Thackray, Mail on Sunday small business editor Vicki Owen, ICAEW business director Stephen Ibbotson, Local Media Works chairman Craig Nayman, and News Media Association deputy chief executive Lynne Anderson.
The businesses were judged on criteria including originality of the business idea, their finances, communication skills, contribution to the local community, and their potential to benefit from free local newspaper advertising.
One outstanding business will go on to be crowned the overall winner of the competition and claim a prize package which includes business mentoring from Dragon’s Den Star Deborah Meaden and free advertising in their local paper, as well as £1,000 worth of business advice from an ICAEW chartered accountant and free entry to three CBI events for small businesses. The overall LBA winner and People’s Choice winner will be announced on Thursday 31 March.