Serviced office operator Business Environment has conducted a survey of 150 businesses based in London and across South-East and South-West England, to try and assess the affect that the Olympics is really having on those businesses based nearest to the global sporting event.
Results have shown that the forecasted impact of the Games upon the economy may have been over-stated with just over a tenth of companies claiming to have seen any increase in business as a result of the approaching Olympics.
Of those surveyed, 65% of respondents said that the Olympics would have no financial impact upon their business at all, with a further 22.1% expecting a positive effect and 12.8% a negative effect.
One thing to come from the survey results, which possibly everyone could have predicted, is that the majority of businesses said that they expected to see some kind of transport disruption as a result of the Games. Indeed, nearly three-quarters of respondents said that they are envisaging travel issues because of the Olympics, however, around a third (30.9 per cent) admitted that they have no plans in place to reduce the disruption caused by the event.
Overall the research has shown that London businesses stand to benefit the most from the Olympics with 25% of companies based in the Capital hoping to see a positive effect compared to 16% in the South East of England and just 8% in the South West.
Managing Director of Business Environment, David Saul, 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.
“On an anecdotal level, our company provides office space for more than 10,000, yet I have barely met anyone who has a new contract as a result of the Games, 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 games are likely to be amazing, the trickle-down effect is negligible.”
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