The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged the government to act in order to support small businesses exporting to the EU.
The latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that UK GDP and total exports fell by 7.8% and 10.3% respectively in February 2021 when compared to February 2020.
The FSB found that UK exports have 'tumbled' since the end of the Brexit transition period, and that a fifth of small exporters have halted sales to the EU. The business group is calling for further action to be taken to help 'alleviate the new admin facing exporters'.
Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: 'If you'd asked small business owners at this time last year about COVID-linked disruption they wouldn't have dreamed it would be continuing so far into the future.
'These stark figures are a reminder that this lockdown needs to be the last: better to unlock more slowly than to rush and have a repeat of the damaging chaos suffered in the run-up to last year's critical festive trading season.
'The government should now turn to its build back better agenda: cutting the non-wage costs of employment to spur hiring, ending a debilitating late payment crisis that has worsened through lockdowns and taking innovative approaches to emergency debt to realise meaningful economic value.'