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It is not business as usual but we cannot wait for Games party

DESPITE what we're hearing about problems with the latest sale of tickets for the Commonwealth Games, planning for the games is in good shape.

Better to be in a position where there's an excess demand for tickets than the problem the previous host Delhi faced in not having enough people at the early events.

From the business community's perspective, we've been wholly supportive of bringing the games to Glasgow from the beginning, and we've been focusing on a number of issues.

Firstly, making sure as many businesses as possible get contracts, and supporting the development of the Glasgow Business Portal tendering site.

We've seen a good number of companies being successful - for example Trespass with the games uniforms, CCG, Mactaggart & Mickel and Cruden with the Athlete's Village, and 4c Design with the Queen's Baton. There are many more - 73 per cent of games -related contracts are already secured by Scottish companies.

Secondly, how the games will operate during the delivery itself, and inevitably there will be disruption in what will be an extraordinary 11 days - but our position has been to ensure Glasgow stays open for business. We can't say it will be business as usual in what will be extraordinary circumstances.

Business unusual is a better phrase. We recognise that plans will have to be made to accommodate staff getting to work, making deliveries and so on. We've been in touch with the organising committee for some months and have worked well with the excellent chief executive David Grevemberg and the City Council. The OC is releasing information as they get it on transport and access issues, and there is enough of that available now for businesses to get planning by using the Get Ready Glasgow website.

Finally we're focusing on the legacy of the games, and how we exploit that with the messaging of the new Glasgow. The People Make Glasgow brand is a platform to stand on, the new Glasgow economy and its strengths - engineering, whisky industry, life sciences, tourism and the rest.

The true test of the success of the games won't just be how successfully it's delivered, but how much impact it has on awareness of Glasgow overseas and the strength of our economy, and crucially on whether visitor numbers show an uplift two or three years after the Games. The business community is looking forward with huge anticipation to the party that starts on July 23.

Stuart Patrick is chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

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