“A World Cup in England in 2018 would not just be great for the football fans; it would provide a huge boost to small business and spark an entrepreneurial spirit across the country. It’s not too late to show your support.”
That is the message from 2018 Bid advisory board member, West Ham vice-chairman and star of The Apprentice, Karren Brady, who has launched new research from official England 2018 FIFA World Cup Bid supporter npower, which shows that half of small businesses in Plymouth – particularly the chippies, bars, hotels and pubs – believe the tournament would result in a significant increase in sales.
With just over two weeks to go until FIFA makes its decision on who will host the 2018 World Cup, the research of businesses by npower also showed that many in the city – which would host World Cup matches should the Bid be successful – are already thinking ahead to 2018. Nearly one in 30 predict they would have to take on additional staff to cope with demand and half believe that hosting the World Cup would provide a welcome boost to employee morale.
In fact, nearly one in 30 businesses in Plymouth would start to plan for how they could take advantage of the World Cup on home soil straight away after FIFA makes its decision on Thursday, December 2. One in 14 also said they would introduce new products or services to capitalise on the tournament being on home soil.
As a result of these findings, Karren is urging people in Plymouth to keep backing the England 2018 Bid and show their support for the entrepreneurs and small business owners that would benefit from the predicted £3bn boost to the economy the World Cup would bring.
Karen said: “Having worked in football for many years, I am aware of how much it would mean to the public to host a World Cup in England. The UK economy would also prosper, particularly the small businesses that would get a huge and welcome boost if thousands of travelling football fans were coming through their doors.
“While it is difficult to predict how the economy will be faring in eight years’ time, what is really encouraging about this research is it shows how forward-thinking and entrepreneurial our small businesses are.
“Against the current backdrop of spending cuts, the positive attitude demonstrated by the small business community is one that should be applauded and encouraged. It’s not too late to get behind the England 2018 Bid – we still have time to show FIFA that England would be a brilliant host of the World Cup.”
One of the businesses set to benefit from a successful bid is The Cherry Tree Pub and Spice of India takeaway in Plymouth. Jointly owned by business partners Jillur Rahman and Jason Pepper, The Spice of India takeaway is attached to the pub that Jason also owns, The Cherry Tree.
Owned by Jason since 2007, The Cherry Tree pub was built in 1940 and is a well-known pre-match drinking place for Plymouth Argyle fans due to its ideal location only minutes away from Home Park, Plymouth Argyle’s ground.
Seizing the idea of catering to drinkers who want a late-night bite to eat after a few pints, Jason and Jillur opened The Spice of India takeaway earlier this year. It has proved extremely popular, with 60 per cent of its business coming from customers of the pub.
Jason Pepper, owner of The Cherry Tree Pub and The Spice of India, said: “We’re already a destination of choice for sports fans in Plymouth as we have big plasma screens around the pub which show sport all day long. As a Plymouth Argyle fan myself, we encourage football fans to come for pre or post-match food and drinks on match days, and get a huge rise in trade when Argyle are playing.
“We’re really looking forward to the prospect of the World Cup tournament in England. It would be amazing if a World Cup match was played in Plymouth as it would be a great opportunity for both of our businesses as we know how to show football fans a good time!”
Kevin Peake, marketing director at npower, added: “npower is a proud supporter of the England 2018 Bid, and as we enter the final crucial two weeks before decision day, it is clear that there is a huge amount of support from small businesses. We have already been helping some of the these businesses in the host cities get in shape for the tournament by providing them energy efficiency audits and advice, and it’s clear to see that many would take advantage of the opportunities a World Cup in England would bring.”
Check out npower’s Back the Bid site to pledge your support of England 2018.
(from a press release)