News

February 03, 2012 - Anonymous

Olympic contracts still up for grabs

Small businesses can still benefit from the summer Olympics as £50 million in contracts remain available, organisers LOCOG has confirmed.

While construction work on Olympic venues is almost complete, LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) said that contract opportunities in areas as diverse as signage and costume manufacture were still available.

Chris Daniels, head of London 2012 activation for ‘Tier One’ Games sponsors, revealed the £50-million figure last week to the Daily Mail, saying that many of the opportunities were in “creative and cottage industries” that would suit small firms.

Recent contracts advertised on the official CompeteFor website include manufacturing victory ceremony medal presentation trays and providing the video equipment that enables umpires to confirm referees’ decisions. Games organisers are even looking for a firm to do the quality assurance testing on the official Olympic and Paralympic mobile apps.

A spokesman for the Forum of Private Business (FPB) challenged small firms to “go for it”. “There are a host of small-business sectors that could benefit from the Olympics, including caterers, tradesmen, security, events, web design, construction, marketing, publishing and IT, and of course hospitality,” he said.

“And it won’t just be London-based businesses which stand to gain. Most of the major cities in the UK will be hosting athletes, and many of overseas visitors will also use their visit to take in various other parts of the country outside London.”

Since the Olympics were awarded to London in 2005, the Olympic Delivery Authority – which has been responsible for the site construction – has employed 1,500 suppliers, most of which have been small and medium-sized businesses. Organisers say that of the contracts awarded to support the running of the Games themselves, some 70 per cent have been given to small firms so far.

Federation of Small Businesses spokeswoman Sara Lee said: “Many of our members think that the Games will help boost morale, while others hope it will shift the news focus away from the gloom of the financial crisis. However, many think that it will not have an impact – especially those outside the south east.”