Local business concerns and perceptions are generally neglected in relation to mega event research. This article focuses on local business sector’s perceptions of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in both Cape Town and Durban, and explores their experiences and impacts in terms of how the business sector was affected and impacted upon as a result of South Africa’s hosting of the event. Specifically, this study aimed to ascertain the potential economic impacts on local businesses in Cape Town and Durban of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Primary research in the form of questionnaire surveys was conducted three months after South Africa’s hosting of the event with business owners and managers in both cities to determine the perceptions and impacts on their businesses. The data was analysed thematically using SPSS. The findings revealed that there was generally considerable support and positive perceptions relating to South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, several major concerns were raised such as the lack of usage of the facilities built specifically for the World Cup, the lack of permanent employment as well as road closures that affected the turnover and income of businesses situated along the sport precinct. Opportunities for local businesses were also a major concern. In hosting future events, it is recommended that relevant government departments and stakeholders such as event managers involve and consult local businesses through the various stages associated with the event in order to leverage benefits for local businesses.