16 August 2017

community andy burnham

Working with Manchester mayor Andy Burnham to build stronger community.

As business leaders we have a responsibility to give back to the community and country. It is our responsibility to nurture the community around us. I look at the UK’s booming tech industry in Manchester, London and beyond, and I’m proud that businesses like UKFast are able to give so much back.

We’ve never lost sight on the importance of community, whether that’s inside the walls of UKFast Campus or out into our local area – we’re working with schools across Manchester, hosting Code Clubs for the young kids, holding free educational events and we’ve begun the journey to build our own school within the next two years.

We are part of the community

Maybe it’s because at UKFast we are so much part of our community that it struck me as unbelievable that, once again, the bigger businesses seem to have lost sight of their community and are profiting at its expense. I’ve written before about how Google agreed to pay just £20.4m in taxes in 2013 from sales in Britain totalling £3.8bn.

Google are not alone. Amazon has a long history of complicated tax issues, having paid just £15 million in tax on European revenues. When we talk about millions, it might seem like a lot of money, but £15 million is not that much when you consider it’s all the taxes that Amazon paid on £20 billion revenue made in 2016! Where is the commitment to community! Is this giving back?

Even Donald Trump, a politician who I have had to vocally oppose more than once, seems to have figured out that there is a problem with tech businesses and fair taxes:

Although, I do have to wonder if Trump is using this to curry favour after an atrocious week – and tenure so far – as the leader of the United States.

Tech has the ability to bring us together

Tech has the ability to bring us all closer together. The technology industry is without a doubt the most influential and innovative industry in the world, but this lack of community spirit is becoming far too common – it is bordering on an epidemic.

Big tech businesses can do so much better. If we can do it, others can! At UKFast, I’m proud to say that we pay our taxes, contribute to Britain and give back to the community that helped us grow to who we are today.

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