SMALL businesses are deeply worried about the impact Brexit will have on them, with many fearing profits will be hit so badly they may have to close, a nationwide survey led by a local campaigner shows.

A survey of over 350 small businesses across the UK shows Brexit is already having an impact, resulting in delayed investment and employment decisions.

The survey has been co-ordinated by Dr Tony Poll, a member of campaign group North Hampshire for Europe and the national Open Britain group.

Dr Poll said: “A staggering 78 per cent of respondents were pessimistic about Brexit with only eight per cent optimistic. But of most concern will be the comments made by everyday business owners trying to navigate the new complexities and difficulties Brexit will bring.”

The report, based on data collected between June and September found that 78 per cent of respondents expect lower profits after Brexit, 66 per cent think investment will go down, and 55 per cent think that hiring suitable staff will be harder.

Jonathan Buisson, chair of North Hampshire for Europe said: “I’d like to thank Tony for his tireless work on bringing much needed light in to the Brexit debate. Our local Brexit-supporting MPs state – without any evidence – that Brexit represents a bright and prosperous future. Perhaps they should spend more time speaking to local small businesses to get the real facts. With 92 per cent of small business owners saying being part of the EU is vital to them, the time has come for a People’s Vote with an option to stay in."