Welcome to our Business Boost campaign to help businesses grow.

We have joined forces with the chartered accountant Lamont Pridmore to offer free advertising, mentoring and support to enterprises that show growth potential.

Applications are invited in two categories.

One for new businesses – up to five years old – and one for established businesses of any age with fewer than 250 employees.

This is the fifth year that CN Group, publishers of in-Cumbria website and magazine and The Mail has run the keenly fought competition.

A total of six businesses will win £10,000 to spend on advertising in our newspapers and associated websites – there will be one winner from each category for north, west and south Cumbria.

The aim is to help businesses reach new markets and so boost sales and profits.

Luke Dicicco, business editor of CN Group, said: "Business Boost does exactly what the name suggests – it is there to help give companies a real push at a stage when they need it most.

"New businesses face many challenges. Whether it is cashflow, resources, targeting markets, or just getting off the ground in tough economic conditions, it can be a daunting time. For established business, this prize could provide renewed impetus.

"With Business Boost, we want to help make a real difference, so a prize of £10,000 to spend on advertising and promotion, along with access to expert advice and mentoring, could prove priceless.”

Lamont Pridmore is offering finalists a prize pack that includes a digital version of the book 57 Ways to Grow Your Business, the help sheet What Makes a Successful Business and the booklet Competitiveness – How the Best UK Companies are Winning.

For 2018, the firm is also offering an additional sponsor prize of free consultancy support.

Graham Lamont, chief executive of Lamont Pridmore, said: “We’re delighted to support Business Boost again in 2018.

“It’s vitally important that Cumbrian businesses are encouraged to grow and develop their entrepreneurial talents.

"Lamont Pridmore is a family run business and one of the fastest growing accountancy firms in the country so we know and understand the often unique challenges that growing Cumbrian businesses face.

“Judging this competition and finding out more about the entrants is a real privilege and we look forward to further supporting their businesses through a range of additional prizes to further boost their performance.”

Last year’s winners in West Cumbria were Keswick Scaffolding Services and Cockermouth Travel.

In south Cumbria the winners were Brathay Challenges, part of the Ambleside-based Brathay Trust, which arranges fundraising challenges for businesses across the UK, and Camp Cumbria, which provides summer holiday activities for children aged four to 15 years.

In north Cumbria, fashion and lifestyle business CHO and whisky retailer House of Malt, both based in Carlisle, emerged victorious.

Entrants for the 2018 Business Boost competition should outline how their businesses will grow and how they might use a £10,000 advertising campaign.

The closing date is Friday, March 23.

Shortlisted finalists will be invited to make a Dragons’ Den-style pitch to a judging panel in late April.

The winners will be announced in early May.

Just fill out the form below for your chance to win.