HAMPSHIRE businesses are on the verge of hitting a multi-million-pound World Cup jackpot.

The Daily Echo can today reveal that figures from accountants and business advisers James Cowper show that retailers, pubs and restaurants can expect a £38m boost to trade.

The World Cup pay out could even be more than £57m, should the three lions make it all the way to the final.

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The World Cup is set to give Hampshire businesses a massive cash boost

The biggest football tournament on earth gets under way tonight when hosts and favourites Brazil play Croatia in Sao Paulo.

England will kick off their campaign against Italy on Saturday, with pubs and restaurants preparing to cash in.

The figures have been researched by accountancy firm James Cowper.

Company partner Mike Farwell said the figures were helped by the kick-off times being in the evening.

Mr Farwell, said: “Unlike the previous World Cup tournament in South Africa, where many of the matches were played during the working day, most of Brazil 2014 matches kick-off in the evening.

“Whilst I am sure some employers will allow staff to finish a little early for England’s 5pm match, there will be little in lost productivity.

“In fact, the opposite is very much the case, with fans likely to spend more on food and drink as they celebrate or commiserate.”

Across the country it is expected the World Cup will pump between £2 and £3 billion into the economy, according to estimates from the British Retail Consortium and the Centre for Economics & Business Research.

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Mr Farwell added that food, drink, barbecues and TV sales are expected to rocket during the tournament.

He estimated there will be an increased spend of £20 for every person living in Hampshire.

Business bosses across the county are desperate for England to do well in the hope that they will benefit from increased staff morale.

Stewart Dunn, from the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “I think the World Cup is good for business and it is making sure that we get behind it, manage it and capitalize on what a great sporting event it is.

“If you want evidence of how just how good the World Cup is for business, just stand at the checkouts at the beginning of the World Cup and you will see the amount of expenditure on alcohol and barbecues.”

Daily Echo: Hampshire Chamber chief executive Stewart Dunn

Stewart Dunn of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce

He added that England’s progress in the tournament has wider implications across the county.

He said: “The World Cup is good for morale, and if England get through the group stages it will lift that, and lifting morale when we have good economic growth will only serve business well.

“The tournament will certainly be a good boost to the retailers, bars, cafes and restaurants.

Mr Dunn said that retailers in Hampshire can make the most of the event by doing special initiatives and sales opportunities by showing your businesses support to the tournament.

One pub in Hampshire expecting the football bonanza to increase trade is the Alexandra in Bellevue Road.

Supervisor Josh Tunstall said: “We have been looking forward to the World Cup since the start of the year. We have had to order more beer and we expect there will be an 80 per cent increase in customers.”

Daily Echo:

Samba Bar and Grill staff

Another place which is expected to benefit is the newly opened Samba Restaurant in Southampton High Street, where they expect a 50 per cent increase in trade.

They, like many pubs and restaurants in the county will be staying open late, and staff at the restaurant be sporting Brazilian shirts and red and white outfits.

Owner Sam Zahid, said: “We are expecting business to boom because of the World Cup. It is nice to have a Brazilian restaurant in Hampshire while the World Cup is in Brazil.”

The Two Brothers pub in Townhill is expecting the tournament to increase trade by 30 per cent and they have also extended their license to 1am so punters can see some of the later games.

Another business cashing in on the festival of football is retail giant John Lewis.

Their Southampton store in WestQuay shopping centre has seen sales of TVs go up by 40 per cent, while sales of meat grills, tablet ranges, blenders and coffee machines have also gone up.

Managing director of John Lewis Southampton, Mark Venables, said: “With the world’s biggest football tournament just around the corner, our customers are rushing to snap up the latest tech to make sure they get closer to the action.”