Businesses urged to take advantage of 2012 opportunities with two years to go

With two years to go until the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the London business community is being encouraged to take advantage of the commercial opportunities that are still available for businesses of all sizes.  As Games preparations enter the home stretch, there are still millions of pounds worth of contracts available from both the Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Organising Committee. According to the London Business Network, the organisation responsible for providing 2012 business information and access to opportunities generated by the Games, SMEs are in a prime position to capitalise on the remaining opportunities. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is on track to deliver the Olympic Park and other venues by summer 2011 and although 95% of their direct procurement is already completed, there are still potentially thousands of opportunities available within their supply chains.  According to recent statistics, over 400 tier two contracts are currently at the tender stage and it is anticipated that hundreds more sub-contracting opportunities will be generated as a result*. It is thought that nearly 60% of the London Organising Committee’s (LOCOG) £700 million procurement budget has already been committed, leaving approximately £285 million worth of direct opportunities still to be procured.   The London Business Network anticipates that, like the ODA, LOCOG’s direct opportunities will generate many more sub-contracts that small and medium sized businesses can bid for. Chief Executive of the London Business Network, Mike Mulvey, says ‘supply chain opportunities represent an enormous opportunity for the SME community.  There will be thousands of these opportunities available across a range of sectors and specialisms and from our experience these tend to be more relevant and attainable by SMEs.  For the first time ever, businesses have been able to access supply chain opportunities easily and freely through CompeteFor’. CompeteFor is a ground-breaking tool developed by key London 2012 stakeholders in partnership with the business community. It is designed to open up the London 2012 supply chain and give SMEs a greater chance to benefit from the Games.  This ‘business dating agency’ allows businesses to register as potential suppliers online.  CompeteFor notifies them of 2012 supply chain contracts that are placed on the system which they can apply for quickly and easily online. Mike Mulvey says ‘CompeteFor is a true business legacy of the London 2012 Games.  This is the first time in Olympic and Paralympic Games history that sub-contracting opportunities have been made so freely accessible.  With other public and private sector buyers now using the system; including Crossrail, the Metropolitan Police, TfL, Westminster City Council and Haringey Council; registered businesses also have access to a plethora of contract opportunities beyond London 2012’. To date, over 6,600 opportunities have been advertised on CompeteFor from over 700 public and private sector buying organisations.  Both LOCOG and the ODA are committed to supporting SMEs through CompeteFor and have also encouraged their sub-contractors to open up their supply chains using the innovative system. In the next six months, LOCOG’s procurement will fall into eight key areas – Artists, Performance & Events, Sports (including Medical), Security, Security, Technology, Services, Transport & Logistics, Facilities Management & Catering, and Venues & Infrastructure.  Many of these goods and services, including supply chain opportunities, will be made available through CompeteFor. To register your business on CompeteFor, visit www.competefor.com. For further London 2012 business information, including access to free 2012 business events and network opportunities, visit the London Business Network website – www.londonbusinessnetwork.com. *This is in addition to around £250 million which is earmarked by the ODA for the transformation of the Olympic Park post-Games.