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Barking and Dagenham counts down to the Olympics

PUBLISHED: 10:53 27 July 2011 | UPDATED: 11:00 27 July 2011

Olympic Park. Aerial view of the Olympic Stadium with a newly turfed event field. Picture taken on 24 Mar 11 by Anthony Charlton.

Olympic Park. Aerial view of the Olympic Stadium with a newly turfed event field. Picture taken on 24 Mar 11 by Anthony Charlton.

© ODA 2008

Today marks exactly one year until one of the most important sporting events in the world opens on our doorstep.

The 2012 Olympic and ­Paralympic Games will bring millions of visitors, plus the focus of the world, to east London and with that comes boundless opportunities for Barking and ­Dagenahm businesses.

“With Stratford just a short bus or train ride away, the borough – now officially an Olympic borough – is ­perfectly placed to utilise the Games,” says Mark Kass, enterprise development manager at the East London Small Business Centre.

Launch

“There are businesses that have already taken advantage of the construction work going on, but as the building nears completion, now is the time for companies to think about other areas where money can be made.

“For example there will be numerous launch events that will need catering, flowers, service staff etc.”

Millions of visitors will need somewhere to stay, eat and shop, he added.

To make the most out of this “once in a lifetime ­opportunity”, firms need to think outside the box.

“They just have to think what they can offer that is not only attractive to those visiting, but is also something not being offered elsewhere,” he said. “For example there might be a company in the borough with African ­employees who speak French, which may set them apart from other similar firms.”

For companies unsure what approach to take, or those who just need a few tips, Mark encourages a trip to the business centre, where staff can offer free, expert advice.

Call 020 8911 3737 or go to www.goeast.org.


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