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Olympics boost for East Midlands businesses

Businesses in the East Midlands were encouraged to bid for supply contracts for the Olympic and Paralympic Games at the regional launch of the government’s London 2012 Business Network today.

Business minister Stephen Timms also announced the launch of the new 'CompeteFor' site on the network, described as a 'dating agency'-styled service which will help contractors find and contact UK businesses who can match their supply needs.

Speaking at the 'Taking Business Beyond 2012' conference at Walkers Stadium, Leicester, Timms said: "There are already more than twenty firms from the East Midlands which have supplied the Olympic Delivery Authority and I want more local companies to benefit from the opportunities that will be available.

That is why we are setting out the business support services that can help firms bid to supply London 2012, grow their businesses for the long term and compete internationally."

In addition to the CompeteFor site, the government's 'London 2012 Business Network' will include the BusinessLink support service, which will provide help for people looking to start or develop their own small business.

Olympic Delivery Authority Chairman John Armitt said: "We want London 2012 to be a showcase for both sporting and business excellence. The ODA has already let contracts worth over £1 billion and most of these have been won by small and medium sized companies.

"The vast majority of business opportunities remain to be let and we want to help businesses in the East Midlands make the most of these" he added.

Olympics minister Tessa Jowell was optimistic about the potential benefits to the UK economy.

She said: "There are tremendous opportunities, but the gains won't just fall into peoples' laps. Today I lay down this challenge to companies across the country: we will provide the information and the support, but it is up to you to grab these opportunities."

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