The three lucky winners will receive free mentoring from a trio of Glasgow's brightest business stars.
Winning firms will also benefit from thousands of pounds worth of free advertising as part of a national campaign backed by Prime Minister David Cameron to highlight the power of the local press.
City entrepreneurs Michelle Mone, Willie Haughey and Martin Stepek, having drawn up the shortlist in partnership with the Evening Times, will meet later this month to pick the winners from over 50 entries.
Shortlisted companies are The Worxs Hair & Beauty, of Anniesland, ; Business Advisory Support Ltd, of Glasgow; Bathroom Blues home improvement, of Greenock; Pieve Interiors, of Paisley; PC Repair, of Glasgow; the Arran Brewery; Ten Live business services, of Glasgow, and Loveitagain Kids vintage clothing, of Partick.
Almost 500 newspapers nationwide, including the Evening Times, have pledged £15 million of free advertising to the winners of the Local Business Accelerator scheme.
Martin Stepek, speaking on behalf of the judging panel, said: "We were pleased to see such a wide range of diverse products and services being offered by the entrants.
"A lot of those who entered are clearly people who had nurtured their business skills and their passions over a long period of time and then took the plunge.
"There were so many sparkling ideas but the shortlist represents those we thought were blazing their own trail."
Anticipating the final judging session, prior to the announcement of the three winners on January 11, Mr Stepek added: "It will be great to sit down with my fellow judges to debate the merits of competing entrants.
"Real life never works out the way you plan, so we will be relying on our intuition to really understand these businesses and anticipate where they might go in future. That's going to be a great process."
Evening Times editor Tony Carlin said: "We have been delighted with the response from Scottish companies to this unique offer of a media profile and top-notch business guidance.
"For a young company with ambition, this could make the difference between success and failure in these challenging economic times."
As well as mentoring from the local team, the three winners will also be eligible to compete for a UK-wide Local Business Accelerator prize and a chance of further mentoring from Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden.
Prime Minister David Cameron has called the scheme, "the boost that our small British businesses need right now".