Small firms given chance to win cash

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WIGAN businesses have less than a week left to enter a national competition and give themselves the chance to win up to £5,000.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Streamline have extended the deadline for their awards from December 31 to 9 January 9.

The FSB Streamline UK Business Awards, which aims to promote and celebrate innovation and success in small businesses, is running across 12 UK regions – including the North West.

The North West judging day will take place on January 15 at the Regus offices at Manchester Business Park. The area finalists will then to go through to a national final on April 18. The FSB has taken nominations from across Wigan since October. Small businesses are being invited to nominate themselves in four categories: Innovation; online Business of the Year; Micro-Business of the Year; and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Four North West businesses, one for each category, will be selected by the independent judges to go through to the national final. One of the four finalists will also be selected as an area winner.

The area winner, along with the three remaining category finalists, will automatically be entered into the national final for their category.

The Business Innovation and Online Business of the Year awards are open to any UK registered businesses employing 250 people or less and the Micro-Business of the Year is open to any business that employs 10 employees or less. The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award is open to anyone aged 30 or under on January 9.

Full details of the entry criteria and how to enter are available at http://www.fsbstreamlineawards.co.uk/.

The awards are designed to raise the profile of small businesses and to highlight the crucial role that they are playing in kick-starting and supporting the UK economy in the current economic crisis.