More than 1.4 million jobs are at risk as 363,000 small businesses plan to stop trading in the next five years, according to a new survey.
A further 510,000 business owners plan on selling in the next five years, according to the findings, commissioned by business for sale marketplace Bizdaq.
Over a third (35%) of small business owners aged 18 to 34 are closing due to Brexit and 65% of small businesses say they’ve either seen negative financial growth or no growth at all since the last election.
The research, conducted for Bizdaq by Opinium, found that small business owners in the North East were found to be the most likely to leave their business in the next five years, with 29% planning to exit. Those in the West Midlands were revealed to be happiest in their business, with only 14% considering exiting.
With the General Election drawing closer, small business owners are clear on who they want in power, the report claims. 37% said they plan to vote Conservative, with just 19% voting Labour and 11% voting Liberal Democrat.
Labour’s small business support has eroded significantly following the last election, with the party losing 109,000 small business votes as Labour’s support has dropped from 21% to 19%. These votes seemingly transferred to the Conservatives as their support grew by 2% to 37% following the last election.
Despite this increase in support for the Conservative party, 65% of small business owners say that they are either doing no better or are doing worse financially than at the previous election.
“For too long, hard-working small business owners and their employees, who underpin the British economy, have been left without the support and advice they deserve from the government. Given the government’s continued campaign for job creation, it’s amazing so little is being done to preserve the number of existing jobs at risk within Britain’s small businesses,” commented Sean Mallon, CEO of Bizdaq.
“It’s clear that small business owners are undecided on the impact of leaving the EU, however the startling fact that our youngest entrepreneurs are most nervous paints a worrying picture”