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Happy Halloween from the Liberty team!

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With Halloween officially upon us, we wanted to share some of the team’s shenanigans in favour of the celebrations.

Although thought to be an ‘Americanized’ tradition, Halloween as we now know it actually originated in the Celtic fringes of Britain, and was adapted by Christian traditions, immigrants’ conventions and an everlasting desire for sweets. In the UK and the rest of the world, it’s seen as a great excuse to celebrate creativity (in its most horrifying versions!) and uniqueness, while having a drink or two. That’s definitely the case with our team; we take the Liberty to use such occasions as a team bonding experience too – much like in every self-respected horror movie, only if we stick together we’ll be able to ensure survival – be that from zombies or pressing deadlines!

And, although Halloween sales are somewhere in the billions for 2016, we believe that all you need is a good idea to work out something brilliant on a small budget – that goes from client campaigns to a Halloween costume 😉

We hope you’ll find our costumes for this year entertaining – and we’re of course open to any suggestions for next time. What did you dress up as?

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Liberty’s End of Summer Liquid Lunch

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Earlier this month we gathered for the bi-annual Liberty Liquid Lunch. We were joined by a few of our favourite journalists across a variety of sectors, such as telco, corporate, finance, consumer tech and IT security.

The main reason why the Liberty team enjoys hosting the Liberty Liquid Lunches twice a year is that they provide us with a fantastic opportunity to catch up with old and new journalist friends, over delicious food and drinks . At Liberty, we take pride in our long lasting relationships with the media across the United Kingdom, which we aim to nurture with every chance we get.

The whole Liberty team is incredibly passionate about food and it is safe to say that The Oyster Shed did not fail us with their delicious mini burgers, mozzarella sticks, fish and chips and halloumi bites. The incredible views over the Thames added to the lovely meet-up, while we also had the pleasure of a member of our US team joining us, Megan from the Liberty San Francisco office, on her last night in London before flying back to the Fog City.

We’d like to thank everyone who made it to the Oyster Shed again. It was great to catch up with some of the Liberty Liquid Lunch regulars and getting to know some of the new faces better.

We hope to see you all again at our next Liquid Lunch on the coming year – until next time…!

We also want to say thanks to Philip Bedford for taking all these pictures from the Liquid Lunch.

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Another year, another budget announcement: But is it good news for tech companies?

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When you see the image of our honourable Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, standing outside Number 10 with his shiny red suitcase it can only mean one thing – time for another budget announcement. As the eighth budget announcement during his tenure as Chancellor, George cracked down on sugar drink brands and told us all why he thinks it is crucial Britain stays in Europe. It was all riveting stuff (if you’re into fiscal planning that is) but what announcements did he make that tech companies should take note of?

Firstly, for small tech start-ups, the announcement that business rates will be reduced is welcoming. Essentially, small tech firms which set up shop in a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will effectively be exempt from paying any business rates. Tech investors and entrepreneurs can breathe a sigh of relief that they will have more money in their pockets to invest in their company. Moreover, the Entrepreneurs’ Relief has been extended to encourage investors to back unlisted companies. In essence, this allows an investor to finance a business and obtain the 10 per cent entrepreneurs’ rate without having to work in the business.

Other initiatives to help businesses, particularly in the communications sector, include the Broadband Investment Fund, created to help the growth of alternative broadband networks by working with private sector companies. Additionally, Osborne outlined plans to establish an Institute of Coding by forming a panel of experts to shape and oversee its creation, with the aim of providing young people with digital skills like coding. For the technology companies based in the UK, the fact that government is committed to nurturing home-grown digital talent is welcoming.

On the surface then, it seems George’s budget was largely focused on giving small companies a boost, however it also demonstrated the government’s commitment to meeting its overall digital objectives. As part of its aim to support broadband and mobile infrastructure, the government plans to increase ultrafast broadband in the South West to £14.5m. Additionally, the government is set to push ahead with its plans for 5G by setting up a review to examine the benefits of the technology and hopes to have a strategy by 2017. On pioneering technologies, the government committed £10m to fund a data centre to create more accurate stats from big data and advance the development of tech initiatives like driverless cars.

So it looks like George’s latest budget has been one that could potentially have a lot to offer for technology companies, both big and small. What’s more, technology initiatives like driverless cars and big data are still high on the agenda and it’s comforting to know that the UK is still ambitious in its digital plans.

Leke Apena, Senior Account Executive