SMBs raise concerns about nationwide Olympic legacy

Monday 22 July 2013

City of London

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the UK need to see a greater Olympic legacy push, it has been claimed.

In a poll conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in London, over half (55 per cent) of the SMBs that won Olympic contracts claimed they have experienced growth as a result.

Many companies took on new employees to expand their operations, boosting the local and national economies, the study revealed.

The FSB found that nearly a third (28 per cent) have seen a higher level of skills within their company as a result of winning an Olympic contract.

However, there are some concerns about the strength of the Games' legacy outside London and the south-east of England.

In regional parts of the UK, the FSB has seen "a mixed outcome" for many SMBs, despite the "feel-good factor" at the start of the Games.

The business group reported that many parts of the country "failed to grab a piece of the Olympic magic".

Mike Cherry, national policy chairman at the FSB, said the Olympics were a "tremendous spectacle" for the UK.

"However, a year on, it's difficult to say what the true economic legacy is for micro and small businesses," he stated.

"Out in the nations and regions, we found that the effect of the Olympic and Paralympics for small businesses didn't materialise as much as had been hoped."

Mr Cherry said some businesses certainly did benefit from the Games with really good contracts, but for others "it just didn't happen".

The concerns raised by the FSB come as the government reports a £10 billion economic boost and an upsurge in volunteering following London 2012.

According to the coalition, the "inspirational power" of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is delivering "lasting change" in sport, communities and the economy.

Prime Minister David Cameron claimed that companies across the country "are harnessing the Olympic momentum" and "delivering the lasting business legacy of the Games that will help make Britain a winner in the global race".

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Posted by Jenny Arthur