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Firms risk being left on Olympic starting blocks

There is a total £21 billion worth of opportunities potentially available to UK firms but new research highlights that almost three-quarters of Milton Keynes firms reported that they have not yet looked into the opportunities around the 2012 Games.

The study by Lloyds TSB concludes that this sentiment is present in many businesses across the UK, with a similar percentage nationally reporting a similar ‘economic blind-spot’.

Businesses in Milton Keynes remain upbeat about the London Games nevertheless, with 41 per cent of respondents feeling the Games will have a positive economic benefit on their own business and 55% of the view that the Games will be positive for the region.

Around one sixth of businesses in Milton Keynes plan to start looking into the opportunities over the next 12 months, the research found. Yet 51% of respondents in Milton Keynes feel they need further support and guidance on how to take full advantage of the business benefits.

Kevin Stannard, area director for Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets in East Anglia and the South Midlands said: “The London 2012 Games offers one of the biggest business opportunities this country has seen in 50 years. Regardless of industry, it provides a golden opportunity for businesses in Milton Keynes to expand, diversify and reach new audiences.

“Although the opening ceremony is four years away, we urge businesses to take action now in order to grab a piece of the pie. There will be a huge amount of Olympic-related activity going on before and during the London 2012 Games right across the region.”

Lloyds TSB has launched the Official Business Guide for London 2012, designed to help UK business reap the rewards of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It examines every aspect of the supply chain, including the procurement policies involved, and covers useful sources of support such as the London 2012 Business Network.

Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, said: “With more than £6 billion of contracts available, businesses need to act now to make the most of the opportunities available between now and 2012.

“London 2012 is already providing a unique opportunity for businesses throughout the UK to raise their profile and reputation on the global stage, and the amount of big sporting events coming to the UK could make this a golden decade’ for major events in the UK and, therefore, British business.

“Delivering the Games is a massive logistical operation, requiring goods and services from a large number of firms. Businesses the length and breadth of the country will win contracts and gain a huge amount of experience of what it takes to stage and host big sporting events.

“This will lead to a new ‘export market’ for the UK, thus benefiting businesses right through to 2012 and beyond.”

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