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Picked out as business champions.

Byline: NEIL HODGSON

TWO businesses will champion Merseyside's cause in the Local Business Accelerator (LBA) campaign.

Copplestone Bridal, in Liverpool city centre, and Urban Beauty Stores, from Widnes, were chosen from a selection of entries vying to progress to the next stage of the national competition to promote small firms and start-ups.

It offers regional winners PS15m-worth of free ads in 500 newspapers around the country and a PS10,000 cash prize and mentoring from Dragons' Den star and LBA ambassador Deborah Meaden for the overall winner.

Our local winners will benefit from a free ad campaign in the ECHO and free mentoring from two business experts - Downtown Liverpool In Business chairman David Wade-Smith and Prof Phil Harris, an inter nationally-renowned marketing expert and executive dean of the faculty of business, enterprise and lifelong learning at Chester University's business school.

Copplestones Bridal, run by dad-and-son team Malcolm and John Sibson, has just relocated from Johnston Street to Sir Thomas Street.

Mr Sibson Snr reacted to their LBA nomination, saying: "I am really pleased and excited about the possibilities. Having just moved to our new premises on the basis of our success at our old premises I think we have a great future."

Urban Beauty Stores, based in Widnes Market Hall, is a retailer of beauty and cosmetic products.

Owner Jenny Paget said of her nomination: "I am really surprised, and proud."

Carl Wood, commercial director for Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales, was part of the Merseyside judging panel.

He said: "We were delighted with the quality of the entries.

"We now look forward to moving to the next phase of the competition and identifying companies which can grow and prosper and contribute to the local economy going forward."

One of the Mersey firms will be chosen in June to contest the regional finals and hopefully progress to the national shortlist to be announced in September, ahead of the final in October.

LBA was backed by prime minister David Cameron, who said: "I would like to congratulate the winners of the ECHO competition and wish them all the best for the national final."

CAPTION(S):

WINNERS: Malcolm, right, and John Sibson of Copplestones Bridal Picture: GAVIN TRAFFORD

SUCCESS: Jenny Paget from Urban Beauty Stores Picture: ANDREW TEEBAY
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 7, 2013
Words:377
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