Apparently 72% of business contracts for the Olympics have gone to SMEs; 22% to micro-businesses with fewer than 10 employees. No, me neither. So I was intrigued by this week’s ELSBC event to talk about how local businesses can get some of the action. The opportunities are astounding, though they need a bit of creative thinking if you’re not in one of the obvious sectors like construction or accommodation. From memory here are some key things to think about – of which easily the most important is the first:
- Register for free with Compete For– Olympic-related contracts are posted here, as are opportunities with Crossrail, Transport for London and the Met Police. The big Tier One contractors with the huge building and supply contracts post sub-contracts here and they’re required to offer a proportion of them to SMEs. From the end of June the Met will be posting all contracts worth between £500 and £50,000 here too.
- Find out who’s won contracts in your field. Could your competitors need a bit of extra capacity from you? Are they going to be dropping smaller contracts that you could pick up while they concentrate on the Olympics?
- Look out for other Olympic-related opportunities. There will be a number of National Houses set up by different countries to showcase themselves (I like the sound of Jamaica’s nine-day party in Finsbury Park). As well as the Olympic village itself, there will be training camps and support camps all over the place (the American team will run its operations from a base at University of East London, for example). There will be big events at the O2 (renamed the North Greenwich arena for the Olympics). They’ll all need supplying with stuff from transport to security, catering to printing, couriers to cleaning services. More information about new procurement opportunities on the London 2012 site and the London Business Network
- Think about after the Games – the athletes’ village will be turned into homes for east Londoners and a new school is being built in the park, so there’s plenty more work in construction, and other opportunities too. Keep an eye on Compete For and the Olympic Park Legacy Company
There are ony 58 weeks to go. What are you waiting for?