Mon May 21, 2012 10:2AM
Small British companies say the government is shutting them out of the Olympics trade boost despite earlier ‘selling’ the games to taxpayers as an economic boon. Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses John Walker said London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) is keeping a disproportionately hard grip on the copy right matters surrounding the games effectively blocking smaller business from sharing the financial benefits the Olympics is expected to bring in. "In their zeal, Locog appears to have lost all sense of reasonableness and proportion," he said. "Given that the Games were 'sold' to the taxpayer as a boon for the UK economy, small firms should feel the London Olympics are an opportunity, rather than a threat,” he added. Walker further said they carried out a detailed survey of their members in January, which revealed “a mere seven per cent of small businesses thought the Olympic Games would benefit them” with one in four saying “they would damage trade. Locog has so far forced several small firms to remove any reference, by words or pictures, to Olympics from their websites, products, etc. In one such incident Locog threatened an entertainment company, H20h Entertainment, to remove the words “Olympics” and “London 2012” from their website or face court action. "Most people that I've told the story to have laughed, and that's what I have done because it's so ridiculous, but there's a serious edge, and you wonder why an organization like Locog is being allowed to pursue small businesses in this sinister way," H20h Entertainment director Helen Day said. Day added she received another phone call later to tell her that hoops the company used in circus acts were colored “too much” like the Olympic hoops. Locog has also forced the University of Derby to remove a banner that read “supporting the London Olympics” while British Sugarcraft Guild have been told not to use Olympics logo on cakes. AMR/HE