THE problems visited upon Scotland’s small firms as a consequence of the UK electorate’s Brexit vote are grimly evident in a key survey published today.

The survey, by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), highlights the pressures exerted by the pound’s post-Brexit vote weakness.

Small businesses are being squeezed by rising import costs. And Stuart Mackinnon, external affairs manager for the FSB in Scotland, highlighted concerns among member firms about how they deal with increased costs.

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Consumer-facing businesses are worried they may not be able to remain competitive if they pass on their increased costs to customers. Households, of course, are under huge pressure themselves from the Brexit vote-fuelled surge in consumer prices inflation.

Firms in the business-to-business market are in some cases struggling because they agreed to deliver contracts on certain terms, before the drop in sterling hiked their costs.

Small firms in Scotland are, of course, operating against the backdrop of a weak UK economy.

The survey also signals these businesses are seeing little, if any, boost to exports from sterling weakness.

All the while, small businesses face great uncertainty over future trading arrangements with key European Union markets. And they continue to have to worry about the retention and future hiring of workers from other EU countries. These staff are crucial to the health of a small business sector that does not have its troubles to seek, through no fault of its own.