Olympic opportunities

Wasn’t London 2012 memorising? So much gold generated so much business right?

Hmmm….As reports came flooding in about the Olympics being considerably under budget, the knock-on effects on the small business industry is not yet known. Has there been a significant rise in business?

Following David Cameron’s speech referring to the recent success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games as a demonstration that Britain could “do great things”, he informs the nation that ‘doers’ and ‘risk takers’ will help get the economy booming again.

London Mayor Boris Johnson even addressed the party to plea that more help for small businesses is needed to create conditions for them to become “the gold medallists of the global economy”. This blog loves a pun.

Despite the positive messages, more than eight in 10 small business are worried about the economic climate and a high proportion is also concerned that there will be no
improvement next year
. With no Jubilee, Olympics or Paralympics next year, the UK may find the recession hard, especially with no happy distraction occupying minds.

The SME Risk Index also found the much-hyped Olympics business bounce did not happen, with only 6% saying that the Games had a positive effect on their trading.

Macintosh Morrison, Creative Strategy and Digital

It was reported that London 2012 was ‘good for staff morale’, with two of five firms allowing staff to watch the Games in the office - it helped productivity.

However, measuring mood and sporting success of the Games is ultimately easy – but measuring its success outside the sporting arena is a little trickier.

Just how noteworthy a boost the Games gives to the UK’s flat-lining economy remains to be seen.

Karen Fewell also known as the 'Digital Blonde'


Initially at least, organisers' efforts to prevent bedlam in the centre of London seem to have been over-zealous, with a number of smaller retailers bemoaning a lack of

"We have experienced a big dip in trade since the games began," says William Jones on the BBC, who runs the T-Shirt Store in Covent Garden.

"It is really quiet - the media and Transport for London have scared everyone away. Usually at this time of year we get lots of tourists, but our turnover is down 30%."

Footfall figures paint a similar, if less dramatic, picture. According to Experian, only three days during the first 13 of the Games saw higher numbers of shoppers in the West End and the East End of London than the previous year.

This was not what London or SMBs expected. Wasn’t this the summer when the whole of UK shone? Overall, were the Olympics good or bad for London is yet to be seen? But for SMBs, and the early signs, it proves to happy reminder how bad the economy is at the moment.

As least Great Britain won a few gold medals for us to cheer. A happy worker is a productive worker. And a read blog is a happy blog. So thanks for reading.

Was it benefical for your business? Let us know on twitter - @MicrosoftSB

Posted by Steven Woodgate


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