SPORTS MONTH: London 2012 categories still up for grabs

The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) urges small businesses to compete for £700m worth of untapped opportunities.
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The Telegraph has reported that there are still a number of available contracts, including sporting equipment, temporary buildings and licensing opportunities.

LOCOG is looking for many licensees, including, for example, around 30 companies to licence goods including handbags and cufflinks.

Chris Townsend, commercial director of LOCOG, said: “We have a whole range of procurement contracts that will be of great interest to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the UK.”

Interested businesses should complete a profile on the CompeteFor website, which shows all of the available contracts, where there are currently between 10 and 20 new contracts posted on the CompeteFor site each week.

Townsend also said that the bulk of the contracts – around £500m – would be awarded in the next year and that the majority of the contracts will go to small companies.

Chris Daniels, head of Lloyds Banking Group’s London 2012 business team, said: “LOCOG has done very little procurement so far. These contracts are open to businesses anywhere in the country.”

The bank is making £1bn available to companies which want to take advantage of Olympic business opportunities.

Telford-based toy manufacturer Golden Bear Toys won a lucrative tender to become the official manufacturer of soft toy mascots for the Games.

John Hales, managing director of London 2012's master toy licensee, Golden Bear, expects to treble the company’s £11m sales thanks to its Olympic deal.

While completing a profile is a relatively simple process, preparing a tender is time-consuming enough to put some small businesses off, said Hales: “It would have been better if they at least explained to smaller companies why it was necessary to answer so many questions in such detail.”

Daniels added that competition was fierce, and of the 120,000 companies that have registered, less than ten per cent had won contracts so far.

Of the direct Olympic contracts that have already been won, 76 per cent have been secured by small and medium-sized businesses, and around half have been won by firms from outside London.

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