By Daniel Hunter
Britain’s appetite for financing future large scale sporting events may be in question after another survey of businesses revealed trading did not improve during the Olympics.
As late as July this year David Cameron was predicting the Olympics would deliver a £13billion boost to the UK economy, but a new piece of research from XLN Business Services shows 97.5% of small businesses saw either no change or a reduction in sales during the Olympics.
This means small businesses are in agreement with the findings of the British Retail Consortium which recently found August was the weakest month for sales growth this year for larger businesses.
“It was absolutely dead at our shop in Kensington, as the entire area took time off to avoid the Olympic rush. We had some good days in our Stratford shop but the centre closed the car park, so even their business dropped over the whole 10 weeks,” said Donna Egan owner of the Buttercup Cake Shop chain. “On two of the busiest days for the Olympics Track and Field, the authorities shut off access to the centre and you could only get in with a staff badge or an Olympic ticket, so that put off a lot of the public.”
“Our research reveals that small business owners did not reap the rewards that were predicted by the government over the Olympics period,” said Christian Nellemann, CEO of XLN Business Services who conducted the survey. “It’s incredible that even small businesses in Stratford are saying their sales were hit. Given our results, the government needs to check that the economic benefits that were used to justify the costs of the Olympics have filtered down to business owners in general and have not just been taken by those constructing the Olympic site.”
When asked “Did the Olympics/Paralympics boost sales for your business?” only 2.4% of small business owners said their sales increased compared with an astounding 74.3% who said they had no change in sales, compared with 23.2% who said their sales decreased.
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