4% of SMEs are Olympic Suppliers

As the London Olympics kicked off with the women’s football yesterday, we are still only a day away from the official opening ceremony of the games and research shows that 4% of SMEs polled are Olympic suppliers.

The telephone research by BDRC Continental found that half of the small businesses they questioned have been involved with deliveries to the Olympic site. The rest of the small firms were involved in providing goods & services alongside infrastructure and professional & legal sevices.

The Business Opinion Omnibus also found that the businesses most likely to have been involed in the Olympic preparations were in the transport, communications, arts and leisure sectors.

Asked whether they saw pros and/or cons in the staging of London 2012, SMEs had mixed opinions, often seeing both the positive and negative aspects. On balance, the ratio of negative to positive sentiment was almost 3:1

The small businesses that did expect to see positives focused on a number of factors, including:

  • Improved security (26%)
  • Increased profit/trade from a boost in tourism (23%)
  • Increased customer enquiries (17%)
  • Improved environment (13%)
  • Additional brand/business exposure through connections/location to Olympics (12%)
  • Transport improvements (11%)

On the other hand, small businesses expressing negative concerns were worried about:

  • Transport disruption to deliveries & business logistics (29%)
  • Security measures disrupting normal operations (22%)
  • Staffing & resourcing issues (22%)
  • Damage to the environment (14%)

Travel disruption was the biggest concern and drivers interviewed on the BBC London news yesterday even stated that had lost business from being stuck in traffic as the new Olympic lanes opened, forcing normal traffic into fewer lanes.

BDRC’s Research Manager, James Dunleavy, said:

“There’s been much publicity around the anticipated negative impact of the Games to Britain’s businesses, particularly those in the capital. However our research shows SMEs are more circumspect – anticipating positive outcomes to their business as well as recognising the possible challenges ahead. It’s great to see 4% have been involved in the Olympics supply chain so far, and hopefully many more will look back after the summer and conclude that the Games were good for business.”

Whilst businesses in the capital have been urged to consider flexible working and remote working options for their staff, it needs to be questioned how practical this is for tradesmen stuck in the London traffic.

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