You would have thought that cafes located near to the Olympic grounds would be pleased that the Olympic Games were being held near their grounds as the business received from the tourists would actually be beneficial, however you would be wrong. There are increasing concerns that the games would actually cause disruption to their business. Tom Seaton who owns a small café within a stone’s throw from the park commented:
“From the local community’s point of view, the sooner the Olympics are gone, the better,” Together with his sister Seaton converted a derelict warehouse into the Counter Café. The rustic rundown look was kept with most of the expense was invested in the café furniture, the café tables and café chairs. This has over time become a hotspot for the arty trendy community from Fish Island just across from the park located near to the café.
The Games will begin on the 27th July 2012 and continue to through to the 12th August. This means that during this period the area outside the stadium will be occupied by security and huge numbers of people. The likely situation is that he will have to close his outdoor seating area and bring in all of his outdoor furniture including his aluminium chairs and aluminium tables as the area will be too crowded. This in turn will decrease the amount of people he can seat and therefore decrease business. Who would want to sit outside and eat or drink coffee in the middle of a crowd?
Not only this, Seaton also owned another café very close to the main stadium is being forced to close during the games which will mean a loss of business in a peak time during the summer.
Peter Vlachos an expert on events management at Greenwich University believes that the businesses close to the games will suffer. Though there is little evidence to go on about the Games doing this, there is evidence on related research that suggests that those who own businesses that are close to the hub, even if it is a positive one, are likely to suffer.
It seems that while the majority of people will be welcoming the games next year, there are some that worry for their businesses and their livelihood. Some thought should be taken in trying to protect local businesses and perhaps even compensating them for the loss of businesses, particularly those that tend to thrive in the summer months.