Hotels and restaurants across Scotland could struggle to operate if Brexit leads to a bar on migrant workers.
Speaking at the National Economic Forum in Dundee, rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said many businesses rely on low-skilled EU workers.
His comments came after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP will continue to argue the UK should remain in the single market and the country is being presented with a "false choice" between no-deal Brexit and what the SNP say is a bad Brexit deal, negotiated by Theresa May's Westminster government.
Mr Ewing said: "There is a question mark over the availability of people from other countries, especially the EU.
"That's why the First Minister in her leadership has stressed Scotland is a welcoming place.
"If it wasn't for people from the EU, The British Hospitality Association would agree with me, I think, very few hotels and restaurants would be capable of operating were it not for their labourers.
"That is a very key issue for the future of the rural economy. There are very few businesses in the rural economy that are successful that don't have vacancies."
Ms Sturgeon also described restrictions around migration as "one of the biggest risks to our economy".