SMEs expect Benefit from 2012 Olympics

London Olympics

Britain might be picking up gold in the Bejiing Olympics, but UK small businesses are sceptical about the benefits that London 2012 will bring them, according to entrepreneur think tank the Tenon Forum.

London Olympics

Their research revealed that only 10% of UK small–business owners believe London 2012 will help their business, 71% believe the event will have no impact on them at all, and 15% believe it could even have a negative effect.

According to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the public body responsible for developing and building new venues and infrastructure for the Games, SMEs have won seven in ten of the Olympic contracts for 2012 to date.

Tenon director of businesses services Michaela Johns said small firms need to start thinking more positively about the 2012 Olympics if they are to make the most of the opportunities it offers them.

“The 2012 Olympic Games have the potential to generate a huge amount of revenue for the UK’s businesses and not just for the obvious targets, such as leisure, tourism and hospitality, so we would urge entrepreneurs to start thinking creatively now about the potential for their businesses,” she said.

“Entrepreneurs should remain open to ideas and seek out more unusual business leads for their company to take advantage of any potential opportunities that may arise in the run up,” added Johns

The research also highlighted that just 10% of London–based small firms are looking for opportunities connected to the Games, two–thirds of northern firms view the Games as a London event only.

Responding to the results of the survey, the ODA stressed that UK firms are already benefiting from the trickle–down effects of the London Olympics. ODA spokesman Ben Hurley said;

“Of the 650 businesses that have already won more than £2 billion worth of work supplying the ODA, more than 70% are SMEs and just under half are based outside of London,”

“In addition, of the companies registered on CompeteFor, the business ‘dating agency’ that matches firms to 2012 contract opportunities, more than three–quarters are small businesses with fewer than 50 staff,”.

Commenting on the number of small firms that have pitched for Olympic contracts, ODA chairman John Armitt said:

“Smaller businesses are making the running and getting the biggest benefit so far, as well as getting themselves in pole position to compete for future work in the supply chains of our major contractors. It is a challenging project and we’re working with the best of British business to keep well on track to deliver a great Olympic and Paralympic Games and a lasting legacy.”

For more information on how small firms across the UK can get involved in the Olympics, visit the London 2012 website

To register interest in securing contracts for the 2012 Olympics, visit the CompeteFor website

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