The latest research from our Business Barometer survey has found businesses were twice as likely to be concerned about the impact of COVID on their business as they were about the impact of Brexit.
We asked a nationally representative sample of 1,107 small business leaders what they thought their biggest barriers to growth was in the next six months, the study revealed over half 51% cited the direct impact of COVID on their business operations. By comparison, a quarter (25%) were concerned about Brexit and its impact on their business.
The research comes as the proportion of businesses either contracting or struggling survive remains high at 27%, up from 15% pre-COVID.
Among businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector, the proportion scaling back operations this quarter rose to 48%, with 81% citing COVID as their main barrier to growth.
Interestingly, the businesses most attuned to the consequences of Brexit in the coming months were those who largely operated online. A third (34%) of businesses that did most of their trading online were focussed on Brexit, compared with 19% of businesses that operated largely offline.
(The research was conducted by YouGov among a representative sample of 1,107 small business decision makes in October 2020 spanning industry sectors).