The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Northern Ireland says the lack of an Executive at Stormont is not good for commerce.
Tina McKenzie, FSB NI policy chair, said she wanted to encourage small businesses to take on apprentices. "These aren't difficult things to do in government, but unfortunately we don't have that," she said.
"The political instability isn't good for the economy and it's only natural that we have lost investment because of it."
She spoke out as an alliance of business groups called on the Secretary of State to empower civil servants to make decisions in the absence of an Executive. Adrian Doran, of the Confederation of British Industry NI, said: "We must look for ways to remove the current handbrake on economic and social progress."