One in three businesses want ministers to prioritise investment in infrastructure, according to a new survey of British firms.
Excluding Brexit, new spending was the top answer on a list of government priorities for more than 1,500 businesses.
32 per cent said investment should be the number one focus, while one in five wanted reductions in red tape and 14 per cent called for more incentives to attract foreign investment.
The survey, conducted by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, shows a dramatic shift from previous research.
Six months ago, the bank found that a reduction in corporation tax was the most popular target when firms were asked to list priorities.
Lloyds' SME banking managing director Gareth Oakley said: “We know that poor infrastructure affects firms in a huge variety of ways, from limiting their ability to recruit the best people to increasing their operational costs.
“That’s why it’s at the top of their wish-list for the new government.”