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The Olympics, The Jubilee... And Small Business Growth In the UK

by Jo Shaer, on July 25, 2012

2012 olympics"Are you going to the Olympics?"

It's one of the first questions I have been asked recently when networking or socialising. Everyone wants to be at this 'once in a lifetime' experience. But, with ticket prices starting at £30 and going through £65, £95, £105 and beyond, it's not the cheapest of days out.

The effect of the London Olympics on UK small businesses

Now bear in mind that a lot of people have bought several tickets for a large number of events and it's not hard to work out that an awful lot of disposable income is being spent on London 2012 rather than home improvements or holidays in the rest of the UK.

Following on from my post about the effects of the Jubilee and England being in Euro 2012 on UK hotels - events which take people to London or their own back garden and a bbq - it would seem that the Olympics is also destined to be less of a 'nice little earner' for the majority of small business owners than was originally predicted.

So, after one client commented on the lack of phone calls to his hotel - something that was reflected consistently amongst his fellow proprietors, I received another email from one of my best customers reporting a downturn in sales enquiries.

The site itself was showing improved rankings for its chosen keywords so the opportunities for exposure were increasing. Investigations of Analytics showed that, whilst traffic in the previous three months was consistent with that of the three months before and also with the same three month period the previous year, the number of people coming to the site in the last month had fallen by about 8%.

Could it be just a coincidence that his target market is located in and around London and the Home Counties where the Olympic Torch has been doing the rounds and where a large proportion of the Olympic audience will be based?

A selection of potential customers who would customarily be looking at home and garden improvements at this time of year but who currently have entertainment and posterity firmly etched on their brains instead.

The effect of the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday on Economic Growth

It was all over Radio Five Live this morning. The Bank of England have announced that growth in the second quarter has slowed by 0.5% as a result of the additional bank holiday for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June.

And then the official confirmation via this article in The Guardian about a report from the Office for National Statistics showing GDP shrank by around 0.2% between April and June.

Non-British companies being awarded Olympic contracts

We also hear rumblings over Heineken being awarded the official contract to supply beer at the games with prices of 330ml bottles being priced at £4.20. It would be nice to know that the majority of that huge mark up will be going towards paying for the cost of the games, rather than into the coffers of a non-British brewer.

Whilst they will also be supplying Strongbow Cider and John Smith's Ale, they are still a Dutch brewer whereas we should be celebrating our Britishness and rewarding UK companies with the kudos of Olympic Supplier. I take on board the point raised elsewhere that it is actually rather hard to find UK food and drink providers since most have been bought out by larger conglomerates from abroad.

It would seem very harsh if our economy were to be tapped for paying for the games as well as suffering a downturn in small business growth as a result of the honour of being able to host it.

Topics:Local Business Marketing

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