London Companies Pessimistic About Economy, Unprepared For Olympics
The promise of the 2012 Olympics is not enough to boost the spirits of London businesses, according to a new survey from the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) and KPMG, which showed that just 13% of companies in the capital feel optimistic about the economy over the next six months.
More than half of the companies who answered the survey said that their greatest concern over the next year is the threat of the UK slipping back into recession. Nearly a quarter are implementing hiring freezes, and 59% are only recruiting when absolutely necessary, the CBI said.
However, the vast majority - 92% - said that the 2012 Olympics will benefit the city by boosting tourism, improving transport links and improving the reputation of East London, although 43% said that they were not convinced that enough was being done to make sure the games had a lasting legacy.
Only 32% feel prepared for the transport and logistics issues that the event will present.
“Companies are confident that the Olympics will benefit London internationally," Sara Parker, the CBI's London director said. "The Games will showcase London as a world-leading business location, and highlight the success of UK firms in delivering a complex construction and infrastructure project. Expertise that can be easily exported around the world.
"It’s good news that the majority of the capital’s companies are now thinking about planning for the Games, but there is still more work to be done over coming months to make sure transport, staffing and security issues are ironed out."
Nearly three-quarters of respondents to the survey do not feel that they have been given enough information about transport arrangements.
“The autumn statement gave the green light to some key transport projects for the South East, however, businesses will also want to understand how candidates plan to better manage the disruption and thus congestion caused by road works. This will be especially important as the transport system comes under increasing pressure with many more travellers during the Olympics," Richard Reid, KPMG's London chairman, said.
“The Games will be great for business and will help promote London, but more needs to be done to ensure a long-lasting skills legacy for the capital is secured."