At a staggering cost to taxpayers of almost £10 billion for just the infrastructure, and whatever else to actually stage the spectacle – tonight’s opening show alone cost a whopping £27 million – the country needs this to be a massive success.
The Olympics concept was sold on many different levels by the London 2012 committee. For small firms in the construction sector there would be millions of pounds worth of contracts up for grabs. However, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest very few small and medium sized companies got much of that work.
We were also told that the legions of foreign tourists would come and spend, spend, spend, and not just in London either, but these visitors would travel far and wide to the tourist hotspots up and down the entire country once they’d had their fill of the capital and the sport-fest. This might yet happen, and there’s not a business in the land who won’t be hoping so.
The Olympics may well prove to be an opportunity for lots of small firms to reap rewards on the back of record tourist numbers, but exactly where and how far that effect will ripple out from London, well, we shall have to wait and see.
We do know the Olympic feel good factor has got off to a shaky start with a clamp down on small firms who’ve tried to use the Games to the advantage of their business. The butcher ordered to take down his Olympic themed display of meat from a window display. The bagels at a London deli arranged in the shape of the Olympic rings told to remove or face the consequences.
We’ve all heard the silly stories.
The country as a whole though, has paid a staggering amount of money to host the Olympics, is it not right that all businesses should now be allowed to make hay whilst the Olympic sun shines?
We think so, and our hope is that the spirit of the Olympics is not further tarnished by officials seeking to protect corporate sponsors for all the wrong reasons.
We are all team GB, and the Olympics is a chance for us all to shine, from the athletes, to the nation’s army of small businesses, to the nation as a whole. Good luck team GB.
Tonight the ‘greatest show on earth’ will explode in to life as the London 2012 Olympics finally gets underway.