A DAD-OF-SIX is hoping for success in a Mail-backed competition after setting up a shop within a community housing scheme.
Mark Weldrake, 47, owns and runs Mark’s Cabin based at Laurel Gardens, in the Marlowe Road area of Hartlepool.
Laurel Gardens is a housing scheme run by Housing Hartlepool in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council’s adult and community services department and NHS Hartlepool to promote independence and choice for its residents.
Within it, Mark runs his shop which he first began operating in November 2010.
Mark, who runs it with the backing of one member of staff who works on weekends, said: “I sell anything I can from artificial flowers to toys, from milk to bread and sugar to home-made jewellery.”
Mark has become the second town business to enter this year’s Hartlepool Mail-backed Local Business Accelerators competition.
Businesses aged between one and five-years-old can enter LBA and put themselves in with a chance of winning a free advertising campaign in their local paper plus mentoring support from local business leaders.
The most promising businesses will then go forward to the national stage of the competition to win a year’s mentoring from Deborah Meaden, a £10,000 cash sum and a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative ad agency.
Mark added: “I saw the competition last year and this year I decided to go for it.
“At the moment, the business is ticking along and keeping its head above water but I want more people to come in from outside.
“If I can get help from the mentors, that would be great and perhaps more help with advertising the business.
“It might help me with getting in more stock and some profits.”
Businesses can enter the competition in their local newspaper, the Hartlepool Mail and the Peterlee Star.
They can do so via the LBA hub, which can be found at www.accelerateme.co.uk and fill out the online form.
They must register before the closing date of Friday, November 16.