Winning £8,000 worth of advertising is music to the ears of Buxton businesswoman Zoe Keeling.
Her Muzik and More shop on the aptly-named Concert Place took first prize in the Local Business Accelerators competition, run in conjunction with the Buxton Advertiser and the local paper industry’s trade body, The Newspaper Society.
“Buxton’s major industry today is tourism, and music plays such an enormous part in that through Buxton Opera House and the new Pavilion Arts Centre that the town really should have a thriving music shop,” said Advertiser Editor John Phillips, who judged the competition along with David James, Chief Executive of the area’s tourist board Visit Peak and Derbyshire.
“Not only is Zoe providing a support service for the tourist industry, she is also organising a range of musical events this year which will help boost the town’s profile.”
Zoe, who will receive £8,375 worth of advertising, said: “This year I’ve got more events planned with the shop than I’ve ever had before, so it’s going to really help.
“This Christmas has been one of the best Christmases ever, which is quite amazing really because we are in a recession. I think music is bigger in schools than it’s ever been.”
Zoe said that while Buxton had always been a musical town, the many visiting shows boosted interest enormously.
Every time the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain comes to the Opera House, ukelele sales go through the roof, and she has already ordered in all the scores.
Second prize of £4,366 worth of advertising has gone to Mark Anthony Cycles, who want to use it to promote cycle hire in the town and hopefully create new jobs, while third prize of £3,409 worth of advertising is awarded to Fairfield Plaice, the chip shop which has won national awards for its environmentally-friendly policies.
Local Business Accelerators is providing millions of pounds worth of free advertising nationwide in a bid to get the economy moving, and Prime Minister David Cameron praised the scheme and highlighted the role of the local newspaper industry in supporting British business.
“Congratulations to all the winners of the Local Business Accelerators scheme,” said Mr Cameron. “It’s brilliant that so many promising young companies, from such a wide range of sectors, are benefiting from this excellent initiative.
“Entrepreneurship, creativity and ambition are essential for our economic recovery and through Local Business Accelerators, newspapers such as the Buxton Advertiser are supporting some great new British businesses to grow, and helping to boost their local economy.”
Later in the year, one business will go on to be crowned the overall Local Business Accelerators winner and receive mentoring from the campaign’s national ambassador Deborah Meaden, of Dragon’s Den.