BUSINESS groups called on the new Conservative Party leader to resolve the Brexit "impasse" and focus on helping struggling small companies.

Business West and the Federation of Small Businesses urged Boris Johnson to avoid a disorderly exit from the EU and create a pro-enterprise environment to support firms that have struggled during the last few years of uncertainty.

Business West managing director Phil Smith said: “The message to Boris Johnson from business communities around the UK couldn’t be simpler: the time for campaigning is over and we need you to get down to business.

“Companies need to know, in concrete terms, what your government will do to avoid a messy, disorderly Brexit on October 31 which would bring pain to communities across the UK and disruption to our trade around the world.

“We need to see swift action on practical, real-world issues here at home that hold businesses and communities back.

“As part of the British Chambers of Commerce, we will be sending you 15 specific steps you can take right now to rebuild business confidence swiftly over the coming days.

“We will work with you wherever we can to make these proposals a reality, but we will also hold you and your government to account for delivery.”

The Federation of Small Businesses called on the new government to assist small businesses with employment costs, increase investment in the UK's broadband and phone infrastructure, and modernise the business rates system.

FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said: "We need to see a real sense of urgency from this new prime minister when it comes to creating a pro-enterprise environment.

"As things stand, small business confidence is at rock-bottom. Political uncertainty has left us unable to invest, grow and plan for the future. The UK has long been one of the best places in the world to do business. It’s crucial that we keep it that way.

“We had promising discussions with Boris Johnson during his campaign and look forward to working with him on the issues that matter most to small businesses.

“Securing a pro-business EU withdrawal agreement that can command a majority in the House of Commons is task one for this new administration.

"Brexit has been absorbing government bandwidth for years now, leaving domestic challenges unaddressed. Chief among these are a broken business rates system, spiralling employment costs and derisory broadband and phone connectivity.

“We need to get back to basics. Closing the UK’s productivity gap and increasing GDP growth will only happen when small firms have the political certainty, tax reform and world-leading infrastructure needed to take risks and innovate. Time is of the essence for this new government.”