Free advertising for business sign-ups

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All businesses will know how powerful the internet can be when it comes to keeping up with the competition – but unfortunately poor service across the county is putting many of them at a disadvantage.

Now, companies which register their support for the Broadband Means Business Campaign at www.onlincolnshire.org can help to get a superfast service and win a free quarter-page advert worth up to £400 to help promote their company and give them an edge.

The Rasen Mail is pitting itself against all Johnston Press publications in the county in a bid to be the area which has the highest number of sign-ups to the campaign.

All businesses which have shown their support in that area will then be entered into a prize draw to win a free advert.

Paul Fisher, editor of the Market Rasen Mail, said: “The newspaper has been at the forefront of championing local business for years and I have been told from business owners how much of a difference effective advertising can make.

“This is therefore a great oppurtunity to not only support our Broadband Means Business Campaign and make a difference by helping to bring superfast broadband to our town, it’s also a chance to get some free publicity – it’s a win, win situation.”

So far 125 businesses in the Market Rasen area have already added their voice to the campaign, but hundreds more are needed to reach the countywide target of 10,000 by December.

The list of business sign-ups to the website will eventually be used to lobby service providers to put the infrastructure in place across the county.

Simon Beardsley, chief executive of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, which is spearheading the campaign on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council along with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Institute of Directors (IoD), said: “Nobody knows better than a business how a bit of healthy competition can help to get the ball rolling, so we’re really hoping to get all the businesses in the area excited about this.

“They have a unique opportunity to help improve the quality of the broadband in the county and also give their own business a boost.”

The winning business will also get a free e-shot promoting it to members of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, which goes out to thousands of subscribers across the county.

So far a total of 1,192 businesses have answered the call for poor connectivity to be improved.

The onlincolnshire initiative is part of Lincolnshire County Council’s Lincolnshire Broadband Plan, which aims to bring next-generation broadband (a minimum of 24Mbps) to 90 per cent of county premises by 2015 and a guarantee of at least 2Mbps for the remaining 10 per cent.

Public and private sector funding worth around £57 million will be invested in a better service, including £10m from the county council and £4m from the district councils and European Union.

Businesses must have signed up to the campaign before October 31 2012.

Visit www.onlincolnshire.org for more on the project.