Armed robbery was the top worry for retailers, with three out of 10 concerned about being targeted. More than half of those questioned said they feared suffering a personal attack.
The report into crime committed against small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also revealed that 54% had suffered at the hands of criminals in the past three years - up from 36% in 2005. The worst hit regions were the West Midlands, where 70% of SMEs suffered crime, and London with 61%. Overall, half were more concerned about crime now than they were five years ago.
Suresh Sharma was forced to spend £5,000 on security shutters after his Costcutter store in Margate, Kent, was targeted by ram-raiders. Manager Mandy Pigden said: "We've been lucky to have avoided major trouble since the shutters were installed but it cost a lot. With other less serious crime such as shoplifting we have to keep a close eye so a problem doesn't develop."
Figures released from the British Crime Survey show that robbery in England and Wales has continued to rise. The statistics compare all crimes in April 2005 to March 2006 with the same period in 2004/05.
While violent crime has risen by 2%, robbery has increased by 8% to 98,204 offences. However, more serious violent crime was down 13%, serious wounding down 4% and overall detection rates were up by 5%.