Companies across Northamptonshire are being battered by Brexit turmoil, according to a new survey of county enterprise.
Many businesses have reported falling sales - at home and overseas - and a drop in orders.
Business confidence has wilted and investment has slowed by 16 per cent.
However, employment is buoyant with 20 per cent of firms taking part in the survey reporting an increase in the first quarter of
About 30 per cent of firms predict they will increase their workforce further over the next three months.
The findings from companies that more than 100,000 employees across the county are contained in Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey.
Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “Figures contained within this report should act as a wake-up call for the Government.
“It needs to recognise that all businesses, but particularly small and medium sized firms, need support and encouragement in these exceedingly turbulent times.
He added: “Given the national context, these results do not cause too much alarm.
“Northamptonshire’s business community will remain resilient during 2019 and Northamptonshire Chamber will continue to feed these findings into the development of local, regional and national economic strategies to ensure that our business community’s views and priorities have an influence.”