Two thirds of small and medium sized businesses do not believe that the Government understands them, new research has found.
The study also shows that four out of every five businesses are currently impacted in a big of very big way by energy prices.
The survey of 300 firms was carried out by RED Research on behalf of GRID Foundation, the not-for-profit arm of GRID Finance.
It found rising costs continue to be a problem for businesses with supplies and raw materials of SMEs impacting 78% of businesses in a big or very big way, with the affects even greater on the hospitality sector.
Nearly half said they consider their firm to be impacted by Brexit and rising interest rates.
While one in every four expect a big impact on their operations from the introduction of sick pay entitlements and pension auto-enrollment.
The survey suggests some parts of the sector are in good financial health while others are really struggling.
Three out every five said they make a small or good profit, with the balance only breaking even or making a small loss.
Despite this, over a third said they did not use any Government supports, while only 28% are currently using one.
Just a fifth said they were availing of the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme.
One in every three respondents said they were not up to date on financial obligations, and a half reported fair or poor cashflow.
Regarding their outlook, just a quarter of those firms who took part in the survey said they believe their business will do better in the future.