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Despite the Olympic Games Organising Committee’s initial estimate for the 2012 London Olympics, 78% of businesses in the UK state they haven’t benefited from the event and the expected £6.5 billion worth of work it was hoped to create.

Just how profitable the London Olympic Games were might be answered by recent statistics from the Business Barometer commissioned by Close Brothers Commercial Division. The quarterly survey canvasses the views of business owner managers across the UK and Ireland on a range of issues affecting their business.

Surprisingly, Northern Ireland topped the poll with 27.8% of businesses questioned claiming that the Games were of benefit to their company in terms of increased turnover. This was in contrast to the 22% of businesses asked in the host city, London. While the figures are positive, they don’t quite live up to initial expectations.

The study has shown that of the businesses that did report a gain from the Games, 52.7% were larger businesses that have a £5 million plus turnover a year. Industries such as transport and wholesale and distribution were also highlighted as the key sectors that benefited, mostly from increased sales or brand awareness.

David Thomson, CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance said: 

“It is disappointing to see that the majority of businesses surveyed did not profit from the 2012 games as we’d expected it to be a welcome boost to the economy.”

“While perhaps some businesses did not perform as well as expected at this Olympiad, they can look ahead with the same mindset of the athletes who too, perhaps, did not meet their expectations. Those athletes will now review and refine, set performance targets and put their bodies through intense training – approach your business with the same mindset.

“In business, as in sport, preparation is the key and it will produce results. For example, think about your access to working capital – could this be hampering your ability to make the most of opportunities like the Olympics?

“My advice is to make healthy cash flow a priority, and we can offer a range of bespoke products to assist with this. A suitable funding package will enable your business to strive for growth in a challenging environment."

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