Active member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales


Evening Standards Business Connections Video


>> COSTAS: Welcome to the Business Connections event.

>> COSTAS: Hi Good evening. My name is Costas Georgiou from Belsize Accountancy.

Welcome to the Business Connections Conference at Westminster hosted by the Evening Standard.

We're here to address the issues of SMEs in the oncoming Olympics and will attend presentations by LOCOG [London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games], TfL [Transport for London] and various other companies registered with the Olympics.


[Background Music]


>> Adrian Moorhouse: To create an environment where champions are inevitable.


>> Vernon Everitt: Now London is well suited to host the Games


[Background Music]


>> Neil Crockett: Someone at LOCOG said to me, Jean-Pierre Garnier, who's the IT Director for the International Olympic Committee has a very famous quote for Neil which is 'We can delay the launch of a rocket but we can never delay the Olympics because of the technology!'


>> Paul Deighton: We think of the Olympic Games as 26 simultaneous world championships, couple of weeks off and then we do the same again for the Paralympic Games, 20 simultaneous world championships.

So just to wrap I mean what you know my proposition to you is that a) clearly SMEs have already been involved, or will be involved, in a major way to contributing to the success of the Games…


>> Guy from Greenwich: With the planned closures of roads around Greenwich, with the added security, with the dedicated pedestrian area and, everything else, we feel that's going to have a major effect on small, micro-businesses, independent shop owners in Greenwich…


>> Lady with Brochure: I understand the reasons why the printing contract for the tickets might have gone to America but I fail to understand why a simple brochure like this is on the presses in China at this very moment. And taking Adrian's point of view, 'seeking the meaning', was the 'meaning' to get the 'lowest price possible' products or actually to stimulate local SMEs?!


[Crowd applaud in agreement]


>> Man in suit and tie: Vernon, I want to ask you, how have you actually tested your disaster recovery plan as if, for instance, the Blackwall Tunnel snuggles up and also Rotherhithe?


>> Vernon Everitt: Both the Blackwell, Rotherhithe and indeed Dartford and other river crossings are part of an overall resilience plan that we have. And one of the things we will do for example in the Blackwall Tunnel is, there's much more quicker removal of any vehicles that breakdown for example, than there's ever been before.


>> Costas Georgiou: Hi Vernon, I'm Costas from Belsize Accountancy.


>> Vernon Everitt: Costas.


>> Costas: I was just wondering if you could give us a couple of minutes to explain your thoughts on how the Olympics is going to help the SMEs in the UK?


>> Vernon: Well in London specifically, or London is gonna be extremely busy during the Olympic Games. And if you're in hospitality or goods and services, that should open up all sorts of opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises, provided you understand what the challenges of the Games are gonna be.

The transport system will be much, much busier than it is currently and that applies to the road network and it also applies to the public transport system. But what we've done to help plan around those hotspots is published all that information on Get Ahead of the Games dot com,, which is our website which demonstrates the impacts on the road system and the impacts on the public transport system. So people can go there and they can see whether or not their journeys will actually be affected.


>> Costas: Ok, perfect. Thanks very much for your time.


>> Costas: Oh hey Jamiel, I just wanted to catch up with you and understand your feedback on the first Business Connections event.


>> Jamiel Thomas: I think it was a good presentation in that it gave a wide range of perspectives on the Olympics and its effects on SMEs but I think there could be more in the way of actual advice on how SMEs get the most from the Olympics.


>> Costas: Everybody is here on the SMEs side to see how the Olympics is gonna benefit the SMEs


>> Jamiel: Yeah


>> Costas: And you're quite right in saying that they haven't really offered that in the presentations. They've told us what the big corporations have done and how successful the Olympics is gonna be but they haven't really touched on how it will benefit the SMEs and I think that's something we should feedback to the Evening Standard.


>> Jamiel: Yeah, how we benefit: the SMEs, and how practically you could extract the most benefit from it.


>> Costas: Having seen the presentations, they were very interesting. However, they didn't really place enough emphasis on SMEs and how the Olympics will help SME businesses. They even mentioned that the printing was sent out to China for some of the low cost leaflets.

However there were inspirational talks by the Olympic Gold Medalist and there was a good buzz, good feeling from the Evening Standard about the Olympics.