A landmark of 1,000 entries to Local Business Accelerators has been reached – with three days still to go until the deadline.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said of the scheme: “This is a fantastic initiative by the Newspaper Society, which will make a real difference to new companies up and down the country.

“It will help hundreds of small businesses establish themselves, helping to grow our economy and create jobs. This really shows the incredibly valuable role that local newspapers play in their local communities.”

Hundreds of entries have been flooding in to local and regional newspapers across the UK each day since the campaign’s launch last month, which came with the backing of the Prime Minister and Dragons’ Den judge, Deborah Meaden, the campaign’s national ambassador.

Under the Local Business Accelerators scheme, the successful businesses will be rewarded with top professional advice from local business mentors plus a substantial allocation of free advertising space in their local publication.

With nearly 500 local papers taking part, the campaign aims to highlight the power of local forces to promote the strength and value of local newspapers for local businesses and communities while delivering a £15 million shot in the arm for fledgling British businesses.

The initiative has received widespread coverage in the national and media trade press and on Twitter with Deborah Meaden, No 10 Downing Street, media sales houses, chambers of commerce, local mentors, and small businesses talking about the campaign.

Ads created by St Luke’s have been running in regional and local press titles.

>MorePost backs Local Business Accelerators initiative