The unlikely call comes from leaders of the minority ethnic business community who want firms from the region to get onto the starting blocks for the 2012 Olympic Games.
It follows a visit to the West Midlands by John Armitt, chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, to encourage businesses to try to win work connected with the London games in three years time.
“There is a real determination to give business all over the country a chance to benefit from the games and so far more than 5,000 companies in the West Midlands have registered an interest on the CompeteFor website,” said Mohammad Nazir, chair of the West Midlands Minority Ethnic Business Forum.
“Almost half of the contracts let so far for the games have gone to companies outside London and the South East of England. The CompeteFor website works as a kind of dating agency bringing together contractors and suppliers.”
Registration on the site gives businesses the chance to view advertised opportunities. Completion of a few questions on-line produces a company profile that offers a match and companies are then short listed.
“Contractors are not obliged to give work to businesses that have registered, but given that there are extensive supply chains real opportunities exist and the message has to be that in order to have a chance of winning you have to be in the game,” added Mohammad Nazir.
“I hope to see enterprising minority ethnic businesses taking their chance and showing that the diversity of our region is a great strength.”
The West Midlands Minority Ethnic Business Forum provides strategic advice to Advantage West Midlands and other partners.