Confidence amongst small businesses has tumbled to a seven-year low – in part due to the uncertainty of Brexit.
A survey carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that nearly one in three small exporters think that sales to overseas customers will fall during the early part of this year.
Meanwhile, one in seven of the more than 1,000 small businesses questioned for the survey said that they plan to cut investment, a figure that was last this low two years ago.
Mike Cherry, Chairman of the FSB, said: “We’ve not seen political uncertainty weighing on small business confidence like this for many years.
“Planning ahead has now become impossible for a lot of firms, as we simply don’t know what environment we’ll be faced with in little more than 100 days’ time.
“A pro-business Brexit is one that ensures we can trade easily with the EU and have access to the skills we need.
“The latter is already proving a challenge and if we crash out of the EU on 29 March without a deal, the former will go out the window.”