Eight great firms make it to final stage of accelerator competition

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EIGHT local businesses have made it to the Citizen's shortlist for an advertising and mentoring boost.

The shortlist in the Local Business Accelerators competition includes an events company, a fitness firm and a home food delivery service.

The nationwide campaign, launched in October by regional and local newspapers across the country and backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden, will see 1,500 firms receive £15m of free advertising to help boost business in 2012.

The Milton Keynes area businesses to have made the LBA shortlist are: Events organisers inEventive, of Wolverton; telephone marketing service firm Xen Consultants Ltd of Wolverton Mill; fitness experts fitMK, of Middleton; health and social care services business Screenetics UK, of Cranfield Innovation Centre; wholesaler MK Lamps, of Linford Wood; home delivery service Newport Pagnell Food Boxes, of Newport Pagnell; retailer Milton Keynes Music, of Stantonbury, and professional and business services company Walter Samuel, of Silbury Boulevard, Milton Keynes.

The firms will be invited to make dragons' den-style presentation at the Citizen's Bletchley offices on Friday, January 6.

The lucky winners will be announced on January 12.

As well as receiving professional advice from our mentors, the prize also include free advertising space in The Citizen.

Real Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden will become a mentor to one overall business, picked from the hundreds of regional winners, providing invaluable business support in 2012.