That is the message from Business Link, which has launched a new support package to help the county’s firms make the most of the once-in-a-lifetime chance that the games present.

The Olympic Business Support programme offers a combination of information and business reviews as well as internet-based ‘webinars’ – featuring double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes – and local workshops on issues such as construction, sustainability, public procurement and the meaning of being ‘carbon neutral’.

According to Business Link research, 0% of the county’s companies believe they will benefit from the Olympics being staged in London.

But the support that is available to help businesses capitalise on the Olympics is relevant to a much wider audience.

“The Olympics represent a real opportunity for businesses in the South East to up their game and put themselves in the best possible position to win valuable new contracts,” said Business Link marketing director Elaine Whittaker.

“Although our geographic proximity to London represents a significant advantage, not everyone is going to hit gold and land a major Olympic tender. However, by preparing to take on the best in the world, businesses may be able to be a subcontractor and will definitely find themselves in much better shape to operate more effectively and efficiently.”

The immediate main business opportunities relating to the London Olympics are in the construction sector but others will arise through supply chains. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games will be looking to place contracts for the actual staging of the Games during the next financial year, she added.

Mrs Whitaker said: “To be ready to bid for these contracts, SMEs in Milton Keynes need to start preparing now.”

Opportunities for local businesses are most likely to be in information and communications technology; tourism and hospitality; environmental technologies; transport; services; media and creative; and event management and security.

Funded by the South East England Development Agency, the programme is free. Mrs Whitaker said: “Companies that take advantage of this expert help will find themselves better placed both to bid for Olympic contracts and to compete in the wider business arena.”

Alan Searle, SEEDA sector group mManager and chair of the Business and Foreign Direct Investment Group for the 2012 Games, added: ” The competition for the contracts will come from all over the world. It is clear that the successful bids will be from companies that have developed best practices in their field and can prove their environmental credentials through, for example, their approach to consumption of resources, which will be necessary to deliver the carbon neutral games.””

To find out more about how to help your business be a top contender:
Visit the ‘Benefit from 2012’ section on www.businesslinksoutheast.co.uk,
Sign up for the London 2012 business e-alert at www.london2012.com/business or contact Business Link for information, advice and support on 0845 600 9 006.”

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