Business leaders have called for a £75 million resilience fund to help firms adapt post-Brexit.

The Federation of Small Businesses has urged Finance Secretary Derek Mackay to establish the Brexit fund ahead of the draft Scottish Budget next month.

The FSB is also calling for further reforms of the business rates system and action to boost town centres and high streets.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said its research shows that only a minority of Scottish businesses have started to prepare for Brexit.

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He said: "While few would blame firms when they still don’t know exactly what they’re preparing for, we can’t see good businesses overwhelmed by a rapidly changing trading environment.

"We’ve been impressed by Scotland’s economic agencies’ response so far, but after March 29 the work is really going to need to ramp up.

"At this budget the Finance Secretary needs to put aside funds to help businesses - across all sectors and geographies - adapt."

The FSB’s submission also details a request for the development of a new town centre diversification fund, which would be used to upgrade high street properties and infrastructure.

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Mr McRae said: "The high street is known as the home of independent retail.

"But if we’re to turn around some of our town centres, we need to make them attractive to the next-generation of businesses.

"We want the Scottish Government to build on the success of its town centre regeneration fund with a new high street diversification programme."

The business membership group also lays out proposals for additional changes to the Scottish rates system, including a new taper on the Scottish Government’s small business rates relief scheme, to smooth out financial burdens to businesses outwith the scheme’s scope.

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Mr McRae said that the priority for Scottish businesses for Brexit is "securing a deal, avoiding a chaotic no-deal, no-transition Brexit".

"But the fact we need a deal doesn’t mean that Scottish firms welcome every dot and comma in the current proposals."