Despite claims to the contrary, the UK economy won't benefit significantly from the Olympics, says Business Environment. Image: inspiresme.co.uk
A survey released this week has shown that the impact of the Olympics on the UK's economy may have been over-stated.
Conducted on the eve of the Games, research by serviced office
provider Business Environment
, found that just a tenth (10.7 percent) of firms have seen an increase in business as a result of the event. A majority of firms (65 percent) believed that the Olympics would have no effect on their business at all, even during the course of the event itself.
David Saul, managing director of Business Environment, commented: “While the Olympics are likely to be an inspiring sporting spectacle, and at the very least a great diversion for a country in recession and struggling through the wettest summer in years, they are not having the effect on business that many had predicted."
He continued: "On an anecdotal level, our company provides office space for more than 10,000 people, yet I have barely met anyone who has a new contract as a result of the Olympics, or expects a surge in business as a result of the Games. The impression, true or not, is that contracts have been awarded to very large companies, for whom this is simply one more event in the season.
“Sadly, this chimes with reports that the unemployment rate in Newham
has remained relatively stable, despite the enormous festival occurring on the borough’s doorstep. The message is that while the Olympics are likely to be amazing, unfortunately the trickle-down effect
One area in which the Games are expected to affect people is transport: almost three-quarters (69 percent) envisage disruptions during the course of the competition. However, less than a third (30.9 percent) have put plans in place to reduce disruption caused by the competition.
The research suggests that any positive effect from the Olympic Games
will be limited to London. Businesses in the capital are more likely to have seen an increase in business as a result of the Games (13 percent, compared to eight per cent in the South West and four per cent in the South East) and are more than twice as likely to think that the Olympics will have a positive effect on their business (twenty-five percent in London compared to eight per cent in the South West and sixteen percent in the South East).