One year to London Olympics - is your business fit?
The London Olympics entered its final year countdown on Wednesday (27th July) with diver Tom Daley poised to make a splash in the newly-opened Aquatics Centre before the call goes out to the world to come and join the party.
"With a year to go, we are inviting the athletes, spectators and visitors from around the world to come to the UK next summer. It's 'London Calling'," declared London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe.
The completion of the wave-shaped Aquatics Centre, with Daley due to make the first dive in the evening, allowed organisers to congratulate themselves on delivering the Olympic Park's permanent venues with 12 months to go, on time and on budget.
"To have all... permanent venues complete with a year still to go to the Games is a great achievement, and a firm sign that we are well on track to deliver a truly spectacular show in 2012," London Mayor Boris Johnson declared.
"It's a pretty big moment for us," said Coe of entering the final stretch after years of hard work -- the most important milestone on the journey so far and marked by a '1' mown into the turf at the new Olympic Stadium.
London won the bid for the Games in 2005, and will be the first city to host the Olympics for a third time after previously doing so in 1948 and 1908.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge will formally invite the world's athletes to the Games at an evening event - at 20.12 European time - in Trafalgar Square that will give a taste of the excitement to come.
"One year to go is a special time for any host nation," he said in a statement.
"It is the moment... when Olympic dreams start to come into focus and when the world turns its attention in earnest to the city that will welcome it in only 365 days' time. London 2012 is now ideally placed not just to deliver top level Olympic competition but also to leave a great legacy to the British people." added Rogge, congratulating organisers for their work to date.
Although the major effect will be in the capital itself, the boom is likely to spread throughout the UK, as the feel good factor and the arrival of increased numbers of tourists takes effect.
“With a year to the event, businesses across the UK, not just London, may not have factored the Olympics in their plans”, says Loomis’ Commercial Director, Stuart Bartlett.
“Loomis, for obvious reasons, is very conscious of the positive impact which the Games will have on the UK economy and is working intensively with customers to make arrangements for what promises to be a busy, profitable and competitive period for them”, he continued.
“With the influx of tourists, mixed currencies and increased demands on the UK infrastructure, Loomis is devising additional delivery and collection schedules with many of the nation’s well known brands as well as smaller independent outlets set to benefit from the Games.”
The Olympic Games may still seem a long way away however, like the athletes themselves, businesses need to ensure that they are in the best shape possible.