17 January 2008 | Paul Snell
Minority supplier pressure groups have welcomed the launch of a new website designed to improve their access to Olympic contracts.
But they have warned it will not ensure suppliers actually win work.
The London 2012 Business Network, launched yesterday, has been developed by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to open up the supply chains of major contractors to smaller firms. It is hoped that £6 billion of contracts will be made available in this way (News, 17 January).
Adeeba Mailik, joint-chair of the Ethnic Minority Business Task Force, said in a statement: "I believe the London 2012 Business Network will facilitate diverse businesses in accessing London 2012 Games opportunities. I will certainly be urging ethnic minority businesses to register with the London 2012 Business Network."
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the network was a good first step. John Wright, national chairman said: "We welcome the launch and urge small businesses to get involved. But this does not guarantee that small businesses outside of Olympics contractors' large supply chains will actually get work. We will be keeping a beady eye on the process in the coming months and years to make sure it delivers genuine opportunities for small businesses."
Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, said at yesterday's launch that the network would lead to a "new export market" for the UK, as businesses would gain experience of working for large sporting events.