Finance chiefs boost London’s Olympic bid

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The news came as a huge boost to London 2012, as business support is key to the success of the bid.

Last month, Digby Jones, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, was named an ambassador for the London 2012 campaign. Jones said that a successful bid would be ‘an unmatchable prize with enormous opportunities for businesses in the run up, during and after the event’.

A spokesman for the Greater London Authority said: ‘Business support is a hugely important part of the bid … Businesses across the UK are in the frame to tender for billions of pounds worth of contracts.’

Almost a third of finance directors in the southeast said a successful Olympic bid would be ‘very beneficial’ for small London businesses, while 36% said it would be ‘fairly beneficial’, according to an exclusive Accountancy Age survey carried out with Allied Irish Bank.

A spokeswoman for London 2012 said that general business support ‘would be great for us’ and pointed out that the bid committee had been ‘fairly successful in getting big business on side’. Deloitte was listed as a ‘champion supporter’, meaning it will donate between £150,000 and £300,000 to support efforts to win the games.

A successful bid would also help regenerate Greater London. Seltzer Cole of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, one of the five local authorities that would benefit most from a successful bid, said the games would ‘accelerate regeneration in the Lower Lea Valley and bring capital and jobs to the borough’.

While 67% of the 150 accountants in business questioned said a successful bid would be good for London’s small business community, a quarter said it would be ‘not very beneficial’ and 8% said it would be ‘not at all beneficial’.

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