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7 June, 2010 – UK small businesses could be in for a shock this month with just six percent of business owners predicting an increase in staff absenteeism during the World Cup, research released today by Make It Cheaper, the business price comparison service, reveals.

Worryingly, recent research by betting website Betfair found that nearly a third (32 percent) of workers would consider bunking off work to watch the World Cup games, making high staff absenteeism a very real possibility for small businesses.

Make It Cheaper’s research revealed two thirds of small businesses are not planning to give staff the opportunity to watch games whilst at work and a staggering seven out of 10 small businesses believe they will not lose any time to decreased staff productivity during the World Cup.

Jonathan Elliott, managing director, Make It Cheaper said: “High levels of staff absenteeism can be crippling for a small business and it’s not fair on employers or colleagues if staff simply don’t turn up or call in sick. Small businesses can counter this problem by planning for the World Cup, perhaps by offering staff the opportunity to watch the games during their shift if they agree to make up the time afterwards”.

The research also highlights that small businesses have an eye on the financial impact of the World Cup with nearly half thinking UK business confidence and optimism will be related to how England performs. A quarter believe England winning the World Cup will have a greater financial impact on their business than Great Britain hosting the 2012 Olympics, with 15 percent (taxi/coach hire companies, pubs/clubs, fast food outlets, convenience stores and butchers) expecting to see an increase in sales during the World Cup.

It will however be business as usual for the UK’s small businesses even if England wins the World Cup. 90 percent of small businesses plan to open as usual and just six percent plan to close for a day of celebration.

The research was conducted with Make It Cheaper’s customer base with 1,000 small businesses surveyed. Make It Cheaper receives 2,000 utility price comparison enquiries each week and helps 50,000 small businesses a year to switch.


About Make It Cheaper
Established in 2007 and based in Central London, Make It Cheaper ( receives more utility price comparison enquiries (2,000 a week) and arranges more new contracts (1,000 a week) than any other business-only price comparison service. These enquiries include those from the business customers of most of the major domestic price comparison services as well as business membership organisations, charities and trade associations. Acting on behalf of these customers with total impartiality and without charge, Make It Cheaper offers cost savings across a range of products including business electricity, business gas, insurance and telecoms. The prices it offers are often better than could be found by going direct to suppliers because of the volume of deals its negotiates.

Neil Hallmark / Sarah Mayer
020 3043 4151

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