SMEs are 'driving force behind Olympic economic growth'
05 Jul 2012
The Olympic and Paralympic Games look set to boost the UK economy by an estimated £16.5 billion by 2017, according to a new report from the Lloyds Banking Group.
Lloyds said it expected that almost a third of the gains will be generated in the five years following the event, when Olympic sites are converted to other uses and tourism continues to grow.
It also claims that small and medium-sized enterprises will account for more than half of the overall growth.
‘The London 2012 economic engine is being fuelled by thousands of small and medium-sized businesses, many of whom are based outside London in towns and cities that might otherwise have assumed they had nothing to gain from the Games,’ commented John Maltby, commercial group director at Lloyds.
‘We know that these businesses hold the key to growth, and even if it is still uncertain whether London 2012 can help to kick start a sustained economic recovery, the benefits to businesses are clear.’
The report comes as David Cameron prepares to make his only Olympic address before the opening ceremony on 27 July.
In a speech in the West Midlands, the PM is expected to declare that the Games ‘should be great for our economy.’
He will add; ‘we shouldn't see them as an expensive luxury in tough times - it is precisely because times are tough that we have got to get everything we can out of them to support jobs and growth in the economy.’
The Government predicts that an additional 4.5 million people will visit the UK after the Games, contributing to over £2bn worth of spending from extra tourism.