The figures are compiled from an analysis of card payments by CardSave. They follow the announcement that the UK is experiencing its longest double-dip recession in 50 years.
CardSave CEO Clive Kahn said: "What is particularly worrying is that we know that card spending as a proportion of total spending is up, with people increasingly favouring cards over cash to pay for their purchases.
"This means that the effect in terms of turnover at small businesses is probably even more drastic than these numbers reflect. Small businesses have been disproportionately affected by the downturn with the service industry hit harder than others."
A recent YouGov survey that revealed 62 per cent of people tend to carry £20 or less in cash on them, while 93 per cent carry a debit or credit card.
Kahn added: ""Small businesses and independent garden centres need to remain competitive in this continuing difficult economic climate, and taking card payments will help them gain an edge over their business rivals.
"Our YouGov survey showed that nearly a quarter of consumers will walk out of a shop that doesn’t take card payments. Those that only accept cash are already at a distinct disadvantage. And that’s before you take the recession into consideration."