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06 July 2018

Summer of sport provides small business boost

 field

Who could fail to be swept up in the enthusiasm this week – whether it was cheering on England as they finally laid to rest the ghost of penalty shoot outs past to rest and beat Colombia making it to the quarter finals of the World Cup – or enjoying the first few days of action at Wimbledon.

With the heatwave we’ve been enjoying and so much top quality sport it’s no wonder pubs and other small businesses are doing so well.

World Cup fever is being linked with boosting consumer confidence on the high street - not to mention the sales of millions of extra pints.

Despite the CO2 shortage, pubs are among the big winners, business-wise, selling millions more pints during popular matches, according to the latest estimate from the British Beer and Pub Association.

A Bank of England survey last week also suggested retailers expected the World Cup to boost their sales in the next year - particularly of alcohol, barbecues and garden furniture as well as electronic goods.

Its chief economist, Andy Haldane, cited the tournament as one of the factors influencing the "feel-good factor" behind a bounce back in consumer spending.

While concrete evidence of the tournament's economic impact is hard to come by - the accepted wisdom is that the longer England stay in, the better for those English small businesses hoping to benefit from the feel-good factor.

Away from its profit-boosting potential, small businesses will also need to consider how best to manage staff who are heavily invested in the tournament.

While none of England's games have been played during traditional office hours, many staff work evenings and weekends and the interest in other matches is huge, particularly if you have an international workforce.

So businesses owners may want to talk to their employees in advance, to make clear their policies on the use of mobile phones and devices in work, unplanned absences and, for businesses which can accommodate it, flexitime for those who want to take time off to watch a match, so everyone knows where they stand.

And for those looking to get into the spirit of things - it can also offer an opportunity to work on a bit of workplace wellbeing.

As well as building camaraderie around the office television, organising some five-a-side games is a good way to build teamwork, get a bit of exercise - and make the most of the good weather!