The Chancellor’s Budget included measures in several areas of tax, expenditure and public policy that are specifically targeted at helping the UK’s small business community.

The package included £900 million of business rates support for small businesses on the high street; a freeze of the current VAT threshold for two years; the protection of the Employment Allowance which will now be focused on small employers reduce their National Insurance Bill by £3,000; and a new pilot scheme to fund training for the self-employed that FSB will be taking part in.

This was the most small-business-friendly budget that this Chancellor has delivered. He has clearly listened to the Federation of Small Businesses’ requests across many areas of tax and public policy, putting him firmly on the side of Britain’s small businesses.

On the tax front, small firms up and down the country will be pleased to see the VAT threshold frozen for two years. FSB was credited in the speech for our campaign on this, stopping an over-reach which would have created a mountain of bureaucracy and a tax-hike for more than a million businesses. I look forward to seeing further innovative changes to VAT post-Brexit.

Small businesses on our high streets that cannot get Small Business Rate Relief will be delighted with the significant discount for the next two years. They will save, on average almost £2,000 each – while those facing the biggest bills could see savings of around £16,000.

The decision to protect and refocus the Employment Allowance means that small firms can use the £3,000 of help to increase staff hours, improve pay and meet the rising costs of the National Living Wage, boosting jobs and productivity.

At the end of the day, the productivity challenge for this country will only be resolved by backing small business. I am delighted that this week’s budget has marked an important step towards achieving this.