The Government may investigate the row between Matalan and its suppliers - if firms can supply evidence the company has conducted unfair payment practices.
At a round table meeting with business lobby groups Minister for Small Firms Margaret Hodge said she would need more evidence on the issue, raised by the Forum of Private Business.
The FPB claims that, last November, Matalan decided to charge a two per cent discount on invoices for "difficult trading conditions".
Matalan was due to discuss the issue at a meeting with the the lobby group this month but pulled out when outgoing chief executive, John King, fell ill.
"Our members are outraged they are having to pay for Matalan's problems," said FPB chief executive Nick Goulding, who attended the Tuesday evening meeting at the Department of Trade and Industry.
"Although the Minister suggested we take our grievances to court, many of our members are concerned that, if named, it may have a negative effect on their businesses.
"Instead we agreed if we could provide Ms Hodge with evidence of Matalan's payment practices, she would look into the issue without making public the identity of members.
"We were looking for her to speak to companies concerned and make plain to them this sort of behaviour is not very ethical and not in the interest of the economy. It is a step in the right direction."
Matalan said it was unable to comment on a meeting it did not attend.
The FPB's dispute with the discount clothes and home-ware retailer is part of the organisation's campaign against an increasing problem of large firms dictating payment conditions to suppliers.
Mr Goulding claimed the issue was becoming common practice.
He said: "It is now all too easy for big name companies to abuse buying power at the expense of suppliers. Matalan has tried to excuse its reprehensible behaviour by pointing the finger at competitors who are imposing the same outrageous conditions on suppliers."
Other companies under fire from the FPB include clothes retailer New Look who it claims has also introduced changes to payment terms without consulting suppliers.
The FPB is also concerned about a new payment system adopted by the retailer, which its members claim they will have to pay the firm running the operation for the privilege.
"Suppliers of New Look will not only have to absorb a further delay in payment from 45 to 60 days but also pay for the number of invoices they put in!" said Mr Goulding.
The FPB is also pushing for a review of the European Directive on Late Payment to create a level playing field for suppliers.
"Under current legislation the Statutory Right to Interest on late payment after 30 days is not compulsory," said Mr Goulding.
"Suppliers are terrified that big customers will take their business elsewhere should they decide to adopt those terms. We need to set standard terms that will see large retailers fall into line."