More than two–thirds of Olympic contracts have been awarded to small firms, according to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).
Of the 801 businesses that have already won more than £3.5 billion of work supplying the ODA, more than 68% are small and medium–sized and 98% are UK based.
The ODA also revealed that small businesses make up nearly 92% of the 42,500 companies registered on CompeteFor, the ‘dating agency’ website which aims to match businesses with London 2012 supply chain opportunities.
The figures appear to overturn concerns raised by business groups that small and medium–sized enterprises (SMEs) are being overlooked for Olympic contract opportunities in favour of large suppliers.
Earlier this year, research from the Confederation of British Industry found that 60% of small firms in London were sceptical about the benefits that the Olympics would bring to their business. Less than a quarter believed the Games would help their business in any way.
Recent struggles for Olympic funding in the current economic crisis have also prompted new fears that contract opportunities for SMEs may be affected. The Government was recently forced to offer a £95 million bail–out for building work, after private finance deals fell by the wayside.
But the ODA has stressed that any shortfall on Olympic projects would be met and that contract availability would be unaffected. An ODA spokesman said:
“The vast majority of Olympic projects are being funded by public money and that remains unchanged by the recession. The only two projects that could potentially be affected are the Olympic Village and the Media Centre, but they will still be going ahead and discussions are ongoing. There is no risk to firms wanting to bid for opportunities.”
*source-is4profit – Farnborough,Hampshire,UK