New independent research released today shows that four out of five (78%) small businesses in East London support London’s Bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

And three quarters (76%) believe their business or their community and family will benefit from the Games.

Businesses surveyed were randomly drawn from across the Olympic boroughs that will house the proposed Olympic Park.

Sebastian Coe, Chairman of London 2012, said: ‘We have had great support from businesses large and small from across London and the rest of the UK. It is very encouraging to see today’s results which demonstrate that we have tremendous support from small businesses in east London, which is at the heart of our plans as host to the new Olympic Park.’

Of those who thought their businesses would directly benefit, 91% thought they would benefit from a higher profile for the East End; 90% thought their business would benefit from more customers; 88% thought they would win new business; 85% thought they would benefit from improved infrastructure; and 80% thought they would benefit from more people wanting to work in the area.

Mayor Ken Livingstone’s London Development Agency plans a raft of support programmes to help businesses benefit from the Games should London win, including a jobs brokerage service for local people, an Olympic Business Club to alert businesses to opportunities and a support service to help smaller businesses apply for contracts.

Liam Kane, Chief Executive of the East London Business Alliance said “It is clear from this survey, and our relations with local businesses, that they recognise the boost for East London from a London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012. The enthusiasm for the bid among local businesses is obvious. Many of our members look forward to accessing the opportunities the Games will open up.”

The survey also found that teams from around the world were sure to enjoy a warm welcome from East London if the Games were held in London. When asked what teams they would support at a 2012 Games alongside Team GB, respondents listed more than 62 teams from across the globe including Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Dominica, Lithuania, Morocco, Iran, Cuba, San Marino, Timor-Leste, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.

Sebastian Coe added: ‘The research demonstrates that London will put on a warm welcome to teams from around the world. The breathtaking diversity of London and its exciting and vibrant multicultural mix is a key strength of London’s Bid to host the Games.’

Notes to Editors

ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 500 small and medium sized businesses in the East End of London by telephone on 2-11 February 2005. 
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For further information contact the London 2012 Press Office on 020 7093 5100