The majority of UK entrepreneurs are concerned that the UK could leave the EU without a deal, according to new reports.
After polling 648 companies, the Association of British Industries found that only four percent would prefer not to reach a trade deal in the coming months.
Half of the respondents said that the effects of dealing with Covid-19 had a negative impact on preparations for Brexit.
The CBI study showed that private sector activity declined, but more slowly, from the quarter to September.
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the CBI, said: “Next week the Brexit talks will start at the eleventh hour.
“Now is the time for political leadership and a spirit of compromise to shine through on both sides. A deal can and must be made.
“Companies are facing a hat-trick of unprecedented challenges: rebuilding after the first wave of Covid-19, managing the virus resurgence and preparing for major changes in the UK’s trade relations with the EU.
“More than three quarters of businesses want a contract that supports people’s jobs and livelihoods.
“For the entire continent, the pandemic has affected the ability of businesses to prepare for an abrupt disruption to trade and free movement restrictions between the UK and the EU.
“Good business will provide the best possible foundation as countries recede from the pandemic.
“It would keep UK businesses competitive by minimizing red tape and additional costs, and by saving much-needed time and resources in dealing with the difficult times ahead.”
The decline in private sector activity is likely to moderate again over the next three months, the CBI said.
CBI economist Alpesh Paleja added, “The pace of decline in private sector activity has continued to slow this month, with many businesses back up and running.
“Prioritizing infection control is the right step, and the Chancellor’s new support package will make a major contribution to supporting companies and households in winter.
“But these are challenging times and we need to keep an eye on the sectors that will continue to be under severe pressure in the months ahead.”