By Daniel Hunter

Almost seven in 10 small business owners are worried about the implications of Scottish independence, if Scotland were to vote 'Yes', according to new research.

A cross-border survey of 500 small-medium sized business (SME) owners found that 68% believe Scottish independence will negatively impact small businesses in Scotland, with 45% believing SMEs in England and Wales will be hit as well.

Over a quarter of the respondents to the Clear Books survey were Scottish, and 54% of them said that they wanted to remain part of the UK, compared to 83% of English respondents who were generally keener for Scotland to maintain the union.

Over three quarters (76%) of English SMEs believe Scottish small businesses would be negatively hit by independence, compared to only 48% of Scottish SMEs (48%).

"After buying some office furniture from a business based in Scotland, we started considering the impact of Scottish independence on SMEs across Britain,” said Tim Fouracre, CEO of Clear Books. “Would it be so easy to buy from this small business in the future? Would the VAT be different? Would the currency be different? Would it just be easier to buy from a different office furniture supplier based in the UK?”

“Our research shows that collectively smaller businesses throughout the UK have concerns over the impact of Scottish independence. Only 14% of small businesses think independence will be a positive move for Scottish businesses and just 12% think it will be positive for the rest of the UK.”

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, has come out in defence of the 'Yes' campaign and the prospects for business in an independent Scotland. He dismissed claims that a Scottish economy would struggle, claiming it would prosper independently.

If Scotland votes 'Yes', do you think your business will suffer? Or do you think Scotland and the UK's economies can flourish separately? You can email your reactions to editor@freshbusinessthinking.com

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