Glasgow 2014: Businesses call for 'clear plan'

Sir Chris Hoy (second left) helps launch the Official Ticketing guide with athletes (Left to right) Jade Nimmo, Colin Gregor and Susan Egelstaff
Image caption Sir Chris Hoy recently launched the official ticketing guide with Jade Nimmo, Colin Gregor and Susan Egelstaff

Commonwealth Games organisers have been asked to produce plans for the city's business involvement with "real urgency".

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce says firms are producing plans and budgets for next year.

It said they need to have a clearer idea of the Games plans very soon.

A Glasgow 2014 spokesman said it was working to ensure that businesses were "informed, prepared and ready for the Games."

Chamber chief executive Stewart Patrick said businesses wanted to plan around marketing, branding and business promotion events.

Following a meeting with Games officials, he said they also wanted to find out more about disruption to city traffic during the games, and about hotel bookings.

At the meeting, Games chief executive David Grevemberg said a business toolkit was being prepared, but did not say when it would be available.

There is already an online portal to help local companies bid for Commonwealth Games contracts, with 100 currently under way and more than that yet to be started.

Practical matters

Mr Patrick said: "We are picking up a genuine enthusiasm amongst business for information on how they can engage with the Games.

"There is no doubt the Games Business Portal has helped to make clear what the direct tender opportunities from the Games are, and we know more are still to come.

"But we are now getting many more enquiries about the practical matters involved for the wider business community when the Games are in the city.

"That includes issues around marketing and branding, the way the city will operate during the Games including transport, hotel accommodation, meeting spaces and business to business events, and the extent to which businesses should be making special efforts during the two weeks of the Games."

He added: "Now that the tickets are on sale and businesses are drawing up their plans and budgets for next year, there is a real urgency for practical information answering these questions and we are looking forward to the early release of the Business Ready Toolkits and the Get Ready Glasgow one-stop information website.

"There is genuine confidence in the substantial progress so far and I'm sure that confidence will be maintained if these initiatives reach the business community very soon."

'Unprecedented opportunities'

Mr Grevemberg told Chamber of Commerce members that there would be further opportunities to sign up sponsors, and he encouraged firms to get involved with the Games as a sales and worldwide marketing opportunity, and support their staff doing so.

Image caption Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson will be one of the big attractions in the pool

"No stone is being left unturned in terms of commercial opportunities," he said. "It's important that we get the right value for money."

Mr Grevemberg said the organisers were "happy" with the level of sponsorship secured so far, towards a target of £100m.

He also said there had been some discussion of increasing public transport capacity by using ferries on the River Clyde, but that had not been concluded.

The Glasgow 2014 spokesman said: "The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games present unprecedented opportunities for businesses of all sizes. Already businesses within the city have benefited from £183m of Games-related contracts.

"At Games time Glasgow will play host to large numbers of visitors. They will be enjoying world-class sport but they will also be immersing themselves in the city's unique culture, retail and hospitality opportunities.

"We want businesses to be primed and ready to make the most of this very special occasion. We also want them to be able to deliver their day-to-day operations effectively."

He added: "We are working through Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Police Scotland and other partners to ensure the business networks they actively engage with are informed, prepared and ready for the Games."

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