Negativity still high amongst SMEs towards Olympics even though many have gained contracts

Half of those have delivered goods to the Olympic site, with the others providing goods and services, working on the infrastructure, and providing professional – including legal – services. Businesses working in the Transport and Communications and Arts, Leisure and Other categories are most likely to have been involved in the preparations for London 2012.

SME owners are able to see both the pros and cons of hosting the Games. So whilst the vast majority of SMEs don’t think the Olympics will have either a positive or negative impact on their business, amongst SMEs who think there will be an impact almost three times as many anticipate a negative outcome for their business as opposed to a positive one

Unlike other major sporting events, Britain’s SME owners aren’t concerned about staff absenteeism to watch the event – only 2 per cent cite absence through sickness or leave as a negative result of hosting the Olympics in Britain, compared with 19 per cent who expected more staff to book leave during the 2010 World Cup.

At 31 per cent, businesses based in the capital are far more likely to say that the Olympics will have a negative impact on their business. 99 per cent – a figure rarely seen in survey results – point to travel disruption as a concern.

James Dunleavy of BDRC Continental says: “There’s been much publicity around the anticipated negative impact of the Games to Britain’s businesses, particularly those in the capital. However our research shows SMEs are more circumspect – anticipating positive outcomes to their business as well as recognising the possible challenges ahead. It’s great to see 4% have been involved in the Olympics supply chain so far, and hopefully many more will look back after the summer and conclude that the Games were good for business.”