More than 60% of small business owners in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland consider that Brexit will negatively affect the future of their business.
According to the new data from Allied Irish Bank (AIB), 58% of small and medium-sized businesses in Northern Ireland (NI) had deferred or canceled investment plans, while 22% of the businesses of the Republic of Ireland (ROI) or same.
Due to the uncertainty, 11% of NI's companies delayed bank borrowing, along with 7% of ROI SMEs.
The fears of a tough border increased to 24% among NI entrepreneurs (15% more than in the previous quarter).
63% of SMEs NI did not start planning Brexit, with only 3% saying they had a formal plan, while 5% of the ROI companies said they would formulate the plans for the publication of Brexit.
The sectors of tourism, manufacturing and retail are the most pessimistic about life after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.
The AIB sentiment index for the third quarter of 2018 reveals that 62% of NI's SMEs believe that Brexit will have a negative impact on their businesses. ROI entrepreneurs are a bit more pessimistic, 63%.
There is little doubt that the lack of certainty about what will happen affects decisions here
First Trust Bank
Some 44% of the participants in the ROI also said that Brexit was giving a negative outlook for its sector.
The Sentiment Index showed that ROI has become somewhat more negative in the prospects when it comes to the impact that changes may have on your business than in the previous quarter of 2018.
The index shows that SMEs operating in retail (-40), manufacturing (-43) and tourism (-49) were the most pessimistic in terms of feeling.
Talking about the latest findings, Brian Gillan, chief business and corporate bank of the First Trust Bank, said local NY companies could see a long-term impact.
"The main source of refusal for small and medium-sized businesses is still a lack of visibility on what Brexit means to them, standing at 85%," he said.
"There is little doubt that the lack of certainty about what will happen affects decisions here.
"The long-term impact of these backward decisions is the most worrying aspect of this situation as it could negatively affect the competitiveness of local businesses, especially those that operate in export markets."
AIB's chief economist, Oliver Mangan, said that the lack of important news in the negotiations was reflected in the new data.
"There has also been a lot of speculation about the growing probability of a non-business, Brexit due to lack of progress in negotiations and deep political divisions in the UK, which will hinder the arrival of an outgoing Parliament agreement," he said.
According to AIB, NI SMEs are more likely to experience the negative impacts of Brexit, now 37% compared to 25% in ROI.
Breakthrough rate of AIB made by Ipsos MRBI is a quarterly survey of more than 700 SMEs from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland that assesses the attitudes of SME's business leaders in Brexit.