THE shortlist to find the finest fledgling firm in the region has been announced, with a handful businesses now just one step away from landing thousands of pounds worth of free advertising.
The most impressive companies have been whittled down to the final five as part of the National Newspaper Society’s Local Business Accelerators scheme.
Nearly 500 local newspapers have taken part in the scheme which is aimed at boosting businesses’ profiles and trade during difficult times.
The finalists for the Mercury are Bow Boutique, Stoneseed Ltd, Colour Mobile VMS Ltd, The Osteopathy Centre and Re Boot Your Life.
Bow Boutique on Causeway Lane, Matlock is run by former textiles student Susanna Ash and offers a range of hand crafted products including home accessories, jewellery, vintage items and original artwork, from local producers.
Colour Mobile VMS Ltd is based on Molyneux Business Park, Darley Dale, and provides solar-powered mobile colour variable message signs.
Re Boot Your life is a new business in Wirksworth aimed at women over 45, encouraging them to take holidays by themselves, organising taster sessions in new challenges and skills and workshops in confidence and styling.
The Osteopathy Centre in Eyam is a team of local practitioners, consisting of a registered female osteopath, a butyko breathing instructor, a male and female acupuncturist, female reflexologist/aromatherapist and a practitioner offering psychotherapy.
Stoneseed Ltd is an IT advisory and multi-sourcing governance specialist, aligning IT strategies to business and organisational objectives and implementing new working models.
The winner of the Mercury’s competition will win an advertising pack worth £7,277, while the second and third place firms will receive £3,847 and £3,029 respectively.
They will also receive expert business mentoring from George Cowcher of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce and David James of Visit Peaks.
Those who entered the prestigious competition had to be open from between one and three years and show either great potential, a great idea or product or plans to venture into a new market with a desire to create new jobs.
The campaign had the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron who said it would “help provide the boost that smaller businesses need right now”.