Innovative small and medium-sized businesses could be the most negatively affected by Brexit, according to a study from academics at the University of St Andrews.
Drawing on a previous government survey of about 10,000 SMEs, researchers analysed the potential impacts of Brexit on small businesses.
The analysis suggested that as a result of uncertainty caused by Brexit, SMEs could see reduced levels of capital investment, access to external finance, growth, product development and business internationalisation.
SMEs that considered Brexit a major obstacle were 26% less likely than other firms to make capital investments in the next 3 years.
The impact was greater for 'innovator' SMEs, which were 35% less likely.
Dr Ross Brown, reader in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Finance at the University of St Andrews, said:
"Perceived negative impacts appear to be foremost in the minds of entrepreneurs and managers located in the types of innovative and export-oriented companies, which are often viewed as the high growth 'superstars' of tomorrow.
"In other words, SMEs thought to be the most significant for boosting productivity and economic growth may be the most negatively affected by Brexit."
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