Only one in three small manufacturing businesses is relying on exports for business growth, it is shown in survey results released last week.
More than two thirds of the firms questioned by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) feel they will be better off concentrating on the home market to achieve their aims. They see stronger growth potential on their doorstep.
This decision will disappoint David Cameron. He has set his sights on generating £1 trillion in exports by 2020 and has urged small firms to play a bigger role.
Many firms feel it will be too risky to venture into a tough exporting world, particularly when the strength of the pound is testing their competitiveness. Leading exporters say they are taking a hit on profits and are facing difficulties in pitching for business.