TODAY The News can reveal our three short-listed firms which have won the Local Business Accelerators campaign.
The annual campaign is run to try and find three local businesses which will grow and thrive with the help of free advertising in The News, and by having a business mentor assigned to them.
Editor of The News Mark Waldron, chief operating officer of Integritie Stef Nienaltowski, and The News’s business editor Emma Judd were the campaign’s judges.
Seven businesses were short-listed for the competition ahead of the judging day, and of those, three were lucky enough to win the overall prize.
Now Aspect Valeting, of Fareham, BEA Solutions, of Waterlooville, and HattyBoots.com, of Fareham will be assigned personal mentors and will be working alongside the News advertising team on their advert packages.
Mr Nienaltowski, who is also part of the Business and Enterprise Stream on the Shaping the Future of Portsmouth initiative, will match the business to a mentor.
He praised the calibre of the entrants, saying: ‘Personally I was delighted with the breadth of the services that our companies are providing to Portsmouth and its surrounding areas.
‘I was also blown away with the enthusiasm and the passion that these people have for their businesses, almost without exception.’
Regional winners will have a chance to be put forward to win mentoring by Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden.
Bridget McCombe, owner of online card shop HattyBoots.com said: ‘I’m over the moon,
‘I’m surprised to be selected but I think my business can really benefit from this.’
Ben Evans of Aspect Valeting also said he was proud to be one of the top three.
Marc Bradshaw, founder of BEA Solutions, said: ‘I’m really pleased we’ve won.’